My Last Duchess Questions and Answers
by Robert Browning

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Analyze the character of the duke in Robert Browning's poem "My Last Duchess."

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The duke is a terrible narcissist, who excessively admires himself and cares little or not at all for the feelings or lives of others. Of the duchess, he reveals that

'twas not
Her husband's presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess' cheek [...].

Just about everything, it seems, brought the duchess joy: his love, the sunset, fresh fruit, a pretty mule, and so forth. The duke feels that she was "too soon made glad, / Too easily impressed." She failed to rank his gift, the gift of being his wife and taking his name, above all other gifts, and her failure to recognize the superiority of this gift to everyone and everything else irritated and angered him. He says that it's true that he could have spoken to her about her error and made her see it his way, but, he says,

E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop.

He feels it would be beneath him to have to explain why she ought to be more appreciative of his

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sabbirbubt | Student

Hello everyone,

I want to address the character traits of the Duke as he portrays himself throughout.

  • Arrogance
  • Balefulness
  • Manipulative

I feel these three characteristics, would be the easiest to convey.

 

Thanks,
Sabbir Rayhan
Department of English
Bangladesh University of Business & Technology