My Last Duchess Analysis

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‘My Last Duchess’ and ‘Things’ are both poems differing incredibly in length and structure, however they share and underlying sinister tone, conveyed by the eerie imagery both poets choose to write about.
 In Robert Browning’s poem, ‘My Last Duchess’, the first major source of imagery we encounter is the detail about the portrait of the Duchess on the wall, and the fictional author, Fra Pandolf. Boasting about the painting on the wall, the Duke adopts a cold and dispassionate tone when talking about his wife. Mentioning ambiguously that the Duchess is ‘[his] last’, it is implied that she is no longer alive.
 … I call That piece a wonder; now; Fra Pandolf’s hands…
The word ‘now’ is…show more content…
Moreover, the Duke uses a synecdoche, dehumanising Fra Pandolf by mentioning his hands instead of the artist himself. This suggests that he holds a slight bitterness towards the artist.
 More imagery lies in the motif of the ‘spot of joy’ on the Duchess’ cheek, not a spot of embarrassment in his eyes but rather a betraying emotion such as passion linked with unfaithfulness towards the Duke. ‘Spot’ implies that her blush is tainted and impure, and the fact that there was an emphasis on pale skin at the time, her blush would have been noticeable. To further the hint that he believed his wife was unfaithful, the Duke uses the parallelism, ‘too soon made glad, Too easily impressed;’. At this point, the Duke appears to lose control of his words, the poem’s structure slightly falling out of regular rhythm as he gushes his words. Once he starts criticising her, he cannot stop. A line gives further light onto why the Duke expressed bitterness towards Fra…show more content…
He also gives her a brooch, and the Duchess places his gift on the same level as the presents that other people had given her and other things she liked, for instance the ‘bough of cherries’ and ‘white mule’, or ‘dropping of daylight in the West’. By using imagery associated with nature, Browning portrays the Duchess as innocent despite what has been said about her. She liked the sunset as much as his brooch; she liked a simple bough of cherries as much as his gifts of expensive jewellery. He explains that the Duchess, in his eyes, did not show enough respect for his
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