|My Last Duchess2
My Last Duchess
By Robert Browning
In Robert Browning’s monologue poem “My Last Duchess,” the author employs many literary techniques to convey the overriding jealous, controlling demeanor of the persona, the Duke. The poem, through the Dukes careful words, illustrates that appearances can indeed be deceiving.
In the first line Browning immediately withdraws the persona from the poem, saying directly to the envoy, and thus the reader “there’s my last Duchess painted on the wall” (1). Only four lines later, we are politely invited to admire the painting: “Will’t please you sit and look at her?” (5). By jumping right into the Duke’s comments to the envoy regarding his “last” wife’s portrait Browning effectively draws the reader in, as we are enthralled by the Duke’s courteous demeanor.
“‘Frà Pandolf’ by design” the Duke says, trying to impress his audience. Browning invented the name of the artist, and thus the Duke’s efforts to impress are foile...