Analysis On The Narrator In Browning's "Last Duchess"

584 words - 3 pages

By: Lee A. ZitoThe narrator in "My Last Duchess" immediately relieves his wife is dead, speaking as if to the reader directly. Being a proud braggart he babbles on about how Fra Pandolf painted this portrait of his last Duchess, making it seem as though having something done by this artist is extravagant or high society. He also refers to his guest in condescending ways as to make himself seem more important.The Duke is proud of the way he exhibits control over those under himself, including his last Duchess. He clearly confesses this to his guest, and the suspicion over the faithfulness of his last Duchess is pondered. Eerily enough the guest asks the Duke " ...view middle of the document...

According to the Duke his wife was fond of everyone and everything. This ultimately could only be because the late Duchess was a polite and friendly woman, but that we do not know. The most we can say is that the Duke was jealous of this, it was something he could not stand to witness. She fond favor in everything, common things, and it was this that outraged the Duke most, to be compared to the common things that brought his Duchess joy. In fact the Duchess cherished all men as well as her husband, this is an utter insult to the Duke who brags about a nine hundred year old name. When he says this it is like he is proving to himself that because of who he is and where he's come from, he is more than worthy of all his wife's praise. To share this praise with common people is abominable. The Duke truly suffers from paranoia and to add to that paranoia he is self righteous and vain.We witness the Duke's pride as he says he chose never to stoop. He explains how the Duchess made excuse after excuse, or so the Duke believes she did. The Duke, no matter how many excuses the Duchess made, will never sink to a level less than what he believes he is. This is where he can no longer stand his wife, and "all smiles stopped together."The Duke had arranged for the death of his wife, his last Duchess. His ego had got the best of him, and if he could not conquer his last Duchess, he would show her who's boss, by killing her. But why the purpose of his narration? To warn his future bride that he is a man who demands all attention, or it may mean her end.


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