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My Last Duchess

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Savannah Bledsoe

on 18 October 2013

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Transcript of My Last Duchess

My Last Duchess
The major theme is "Jealousy" and how it corrupts a man to do something he will later regret.
we find out in the poem that the duchess in the painting is the spectators late wife.
he is mourning over his decision to have his wife killed because of his jealousy over her happiness.
the poem is written in "iambic pentameter"
a common meter in poetry consisting of an unrhymed line with five feet or accents, each foot containing an unaccented syllable and an accented syllable
Plot summary
Based on historical events involving , the Duke of Ferrara, who lived in the 16th century. The Duke is the speaker of the poem, and tells us he is entertaining an emissary who has come to negotiate the Duke’s marriage (he has recently been widowed) to the daughter of another powerful family. As he shows the visitor through his palace, he stops before a portrait of the late Duchess, apparently a young and lovely girl. The Duke begins reminiscing about the portrait sessions, then about the Duchess herself. His musings give way to a diatribe on her disgraceful behavior: he claims she flirted with everyone and did not appreciate his “gift of a nine-hundred-years- old name.” As his "monologue" continues, the reader realizes with ever-more chilling certainty that the Duke in fact caused the Duchess’s early demise. When her behavior escalated, “[he] gave commands; That all smiles would be stopped together.” Having made this disclosure, the Duke returns to the business at hand, arranging for another marriage, with another young girl. As the Duke and the emissary walk leave the painting behind, the Duke points out other notable artworks in his collection including a sea horse cast in bronze.
The opening lines have a lot of history behind them, and speculation.The writers don’t say how they know this but I think I may have found their source. In a fictional work by Elizabeth Lowry, the author closes with some recommended reading. references to Friedland’s article, are present and



Savannah Bledsoe
2nd period
English4 Ap

The diction the author uses is helpful in aiding the reader to feel for the character and to help us see his regret and in the way he uses his words when he speaks.
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