My Last Duchess by Robert Browning sets the tone by utilizing three vital poetic techniques

My Last Duchess by Robert Browning sets the tone by utilizing three vital poetic techniques, one of which is imagery. Browning uses Duke of Ferrera as the only speaker to envision images of the Duchess and the ominous disposition of the Duke. Another key factor is the language that pictures the tenebrosity of the poem. The word choice browning avails describe the duchess and includes the Duke’s jealousy towards her behavior. Browning uses symbolism which displays Duke’s bitterness, which led to the Duchess death. In the short poem, “My Last Duchess” poet Robert Browning creates a mysterious and strange tone expressing the Duchess by using imagery, precise word choice, and symbolism.
The imagery in the poem expresses a vivid picture of the Duchess, and the painting of her portrait, but also the darkness of the Duke’s life. The Duke’s starts off by saying ” That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,/ Look as if she were alive. A peculiar tone is analyzed when the Duke speaks as if the Duchess died. As the Duke persists with his speech, he distinctly paints a picture of the duchess. The Duke describes how the painter, Fra Pandolf admires her alluring skin by stating, ” Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Half-flush that dies along her throat.” As the Duchess smiles at Pandolf’s benevolence, the Duke’s envy builds up.
A strange tone is further intensified by the use of precise word choice. The reader analyzes that the Duchess kindness becomes more arduous for the Duke to endure. The Duke begins to demonstrate how the Duchess is captivated by anyone. ‘Too easily impressed, she liked whatever. The Duke’s displeasure escalated as he says, ” My gift of a nine- hundred years old name/ with everybody’s gift.’ The Duke gave the Duchess a gift of virtue, and he believes that his gift should maintain her contentment. Another fastidious word choice that Browning uses is Whenever I passed her; but who passed without/ Much the same smile? This grew: I gave commander, Then all smiles stopped together. The poem has taken a drastic turn and murders the Duchess.
Browning uses the Duke’s dominance through symbolism. The Duke needs to be assertive and in control all the time is daunting. The portrait of the Duchess is a symbol that demonstrates the Duke’s supremacy. The art is a symbol that he can control from her glimpse and her smile. The guests can only see her when he draws a portrait of her. The Duke enjoys having the power to rule against others.


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