what poet saying hereThat's my last duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands....

what poet saying hereThat's my last duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands. Will't please you sit and look at her? I said "Frà Pandolf" by design, for never read Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, But to myself they turned (since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I) And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,

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alison3000 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Here the Duke (the 'I' of the poem) is showing the picture of the Duchess to his guest and explaining that he alone is allowed to pull back the curtain that covers it from view. He talks about how beautiful it is; 'a wonder' and how it was painted by Fra Pandolf and is so skillfully done that she almost looks alive. This is irony considering that later on in the poem we find that the Duke has actually had her killed.

The Duke finds that the Duchess is more pleasing in art as she does not disrespect him and reflects well on him and he can easily control her. The Duke imagines that she never appreciated her position as his wife and was possibly unfaithful, although there is no evidence for this.       

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