My Last Duchess Thesis

My Last Duchess Thesis-61
Through the reactions of the speaker, the Duke, to the aspects described in the life of the Late Duchess, the reader can inevitably learn about the personality of the Duke.The motivation for the personality of the Duke is clearly linked to his wealthy, powerful position that the royal family places him as the Duke.Third, wealth and power led the speaker to order for the murder of the Duchess.

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This is clearly illustrated by the speaker’s observation that the Duchess thanked men “as if she ranked/My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name/With anybody’s gift…” (31-34).The jealousy arose from the personality of the Duchess: showing respect to every one, smiling to every person who walked past her, and being grateful to everyone.When the speaker felt that he could not stomach this personality anymore, he “gave commands/Then all smiles stopped together/There she stands/As if alive” (45-47).However, to the reader, and probably the rest of humanity, these are the traits that would be appealing.This presents a kind of ironical situation in that what the speaker disliked about the Duchess, is actually what humanity would appreciate; and because of this, the speaker becomes the revolting character.From the way the speaker reacts to the Duchess personality, it is evident that the speaker is not happy with her.For instance, the speaker is not happy with the way the Duchess expressed appreciation to those men who offered her gifts.The speaker prides himself: “That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf’s hands (3).The speaker identifies the artist by name, implying that he must have been a respected painter of his time.Second, Browning used description to demonstrate that the speaker is actually cruel.The speaker describes some aspects of the Duchess which to him are undesirable.


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