My Last Duchess Essay

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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. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the My Last Duchess Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
My Last Duchess from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.