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My Last Duchess Essay | Critical Essay #3

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Critical Essay #3

Millet discusses the reality of the Duke's description of his Duchess.

As Browning explained to a literary group, the Duke's "design" in mentioning Fra Pandolf at the beginning of "My Last Duchess" is "To have some occasion for telling the story, and illustrating part of it." Although accurate when fully understood, his explanation is subtly misleading in that it permits commentators to dismiss the Duke's reference to the painter as an unimportant conversational gambit. A typical example is B. R. Jerman's recent suggestion that the "first mention of the artist is, as it were, bait. The envoy may have exclaimed, 'What a beautiful portrait! Who on earth did it? "Picasso, of course!' the Duke replies. The bait is out, and the Duke knows, from having stalked other prey, what questions such a man as the envoy would ask."

I contend that the Duke's reference to the painter...

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This section contains 1,811 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our My Last Duchess Study Guide
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My Last Duchess from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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