My Last Duchess Summary, analysis and themeMy Last Duchess Summary, analysis and theme

The poem is written by Robert Browning in the form of dramatic monologue. In this poem we will try to elaborate My Last Duchess Summary, analysis and theme or themes . The poem is presented in such a way that we can trace presence of different historical events in the poem. The historical events Aimed to involve Alfonso, the duke of Ferrera who were the representative figures of the 16th century. The Duke is portrayed as the speaker of the poem. He narrates the story in a convincing manner throughout the poem. The duty of the duke is to entertain an emissary. Robert browning has presented the figure of Duke whose aim is to rule over his woman with full ambition.

My Last Duchess Summary and analysis

My Last Duchess Summary and analysis are very clear from the very lines of the poem. The poem starts with the speech of Duke of Ferrara who started to talk to a silent audience. The silent audience in the poem serves the purpose of his respected guests. His aim is to draw the attention of the listeners towards a beautiful painting that is hanging on the wall. The painting is of duke’s mistress who has died few years ago. The painting has kept in private gallery because it is of great importance for the Duke. The speaker of the poem appreciates the artist of the painting for his bold courage for designing such a master piece. The speaker says that he took utmost hardship to paint such beautiful art  in a wonderful way. He brags in the front of listeners that now the piece of wonder is present before their eyes. The painting made him to believe that duchess herself is present there and standing in front of the duke. The duke is interested to give a call to all the guests to come forward and to look closely on the beauty of the painting manifested by the artist of the painting. He really want to admit and admire the verbosity of the artist.

Synopsis of the poem My Last Duchess: The speaker of the poem is curious to tell the name of the artist to all guest because he thinks that whosoever will see the painting he will definitely wants to know the name of wonderful artist of painting. For him, painting is of majestic stature. The visitor wants to inquire about the artist who rendered a great service in presenting such a live look of duchess with zeal and ambition. The duke says that who will observe the painting minutely will turn his face towards it with wonder. The want to inquire more about the [painting but remained silent in front of duke. The duke then turns his attention to interpret the painting of duchess to silent audience. He is of the view that the apparent smile on the face of duchess was not because of him but there can be other reason behind it. He wants to guess and speculate the reason of her smile. He says that the reason behind her smile may be that someone has passionately admired her beautiful figure. The speaker is of the view that no one recreates the beauty of duchess.

The duke is now interested to tell about the nature of duchess. He says that he made everything equal of her matchless beauty. The different jewels he gifted to her former wife made her much crazy and happy. He says that duchess was fond of natural sceneries because she looks profoundly on sunset. She was fond of cherries brought to her by her fool. The duke adds the details that she had no interest for the things that duke had brought specially for her.

He explains about the anticipation and hostility practiced by duchess but duke had no objection on such things. The problem lies in the fact that she had no taste for the things that duke gave her in the form of present. She was in the habit of praising and admiring everything equally. The duke presented nine years old prestigious name of his family to duchess but that was equal to none for duchess.

The duke also explained about his inability in speaking and expressing certain things to duchess. He does not have specific art to explain the things that made him disgusted practiced by duchess. If he had the ability to explain he would have done this when duchess was alive. He had a fear in his mind regarding the attitude of duchess. He says that he feared that he may lose the duchess if he tries to explain about her stubborn attitude.

Now he made a confessional ending of the speech that he had ordered his decree to kill the duchess because of his jealousy. He could not bear the smile passed by duchess to everyone and then through his decree he tried to repress all his smiles.

After summing up the story he went downstairs to meet other guests. He introduced the silent listener whose daughter he is going to marry soon. Then they went back in the gallery to show case another masterpiece of art that is of God Neptune who is portrayed as taming the sea-horse.

My Last Duchess Themes

As we know that there are many themes in the poem  My Last Duchess. The poem by Browning deals with diverse themes in a convincing manner. The poem My Last Duchess deals with the theme of jealousy, hatred and power. Some of them are under below:-

Art and culture

Art and culture is one the best themes in this poem My Last Duchess. The poem deals with the theme of art and culture. Through the depiction of majestic painting of the duchess the poet in intended to show case the beautiful culture and art of his century.


The poem is totally manifestation of hunger for power by the duke. Duke has yield his urge for social and political power in his entire conversation throughout the poem. He wants to have full control over her mistress. He wants to be admired by duchess throughout his speech. He does not want to be dominated by his mistress.

Madness and jealousy

Madness and jealousy is one the prominent themes in My Last Duchess. The startling effect of his madness remained dominant through the poem. He had killed the duchess with his madness because he wants to have full grip over her wife. He does not like her anticipation alike towards all people. He wants to be superior figure in the eyes of duchess. He killed her in her jealousy because he does not like her friendly nature towards all.

At the end of the poem,  we can conclude, My Last Duchess Summary, analysis show that it is dramatic monologue poem, themes are Art and culture, power madness and jealousy.

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