My Last Duchess Questions and Answers
by Robert Browning

My Last Duchess book cover
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Analyze the poem "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning. 

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My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning comes from an actual historical incident.  In the sixteenth century Italy, Duke Ferrara married fourteen year-old Lucrezia, who died within two years.  The Duke courted and soon married someone else. The Duke is believed to have poisoned his wife so that he could marry the other girl. 


The speaker in the poem is the Duke himself.  His speech is highly structured. Control is a part of his personality, so as he speaks, it is obvious that Browning makes the reader believe that the Duke chooses his words carefully.  He would be considered an unreliable narrator.  He tells only his side of the story.  As the poem progresses, it becomes obvious that the Duke has lost touch with reality.


The setting for the poem is Italy in the sixteenth century.  The specific setting is the palace of the Duke in a gallery which contains his private collection. 


Browning described this poem as a “dramatic lyric.”  Today, the poem...

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