Read My Last Duchess and Other Poems by Robert Browning Shane Weller Online


The Victorian poet Robert Browning (1812 –1889) is perhaps most admired today for his inspired development of the dramatic monologue. In this compelling poetic form, he sought to reveal his subjects' true natures in their own, often self-justifying, accounts of their lives and affairs. A number of these vivid monologues, including the famed "Fra Lippo Lippi," "How It StrikThe Victorian poet Robert Browning (1812 –1889) is perhaps most admired today for his inspired development of the dramatic monologue. In this compelling poetic form, he sought to reveal his subjects' true natures in their own, often self-justifying, accounts of their lives and affairs. A number of these vivid monologues, including the famed "Fra Lippo Lippi," "How It Strikes a Contemporary," and "The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed's Church," are included in this selection of forty-two poems.Here, too, are the famous "My Last Duchess," dramatic lyrics such as "Memorabilia" and "Love among the Ruins," and well-known shorter works: "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," "Home-Thoughts, from Abroad," "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister," and more. Together these poems reveal Browning's rare gifts as both a lyric poet and a monologist of rare psychological insight and dramatic flair....

Title : My Last Duchess and Other Poems
Author :
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ISBN : 9780486277837
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 110 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

My Last Duchess and Other Poems Reviews

  • Huda Yahya
    2019-05-22 03:13

    My Last Duchess--------------------That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf’s hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands. Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said “Fra 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, How such a glance came there; so, not the first Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not Her husband’s presence only, called that spot Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps Fra Pandolf chanced to say “Her mantle laps Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Half-flush that dies along her throat”: such stuff Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough For calling up that spot of joy. She had A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er She looked on, and her looks went everywhere. Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace—all and each Would draw from her alike the approving speech, Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame This sort of trifling? Even had you skill In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss, Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse, —E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet The company below, then. I repeat, The Count your master’s known munificence Is ample warrant that no just pretence Of mine for dowry will be disallowed; Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

  • Rosemary
    2019-05-21 20:53

    The Browning in my collection is scattered in older, more fragile volumes, but this Dover volume serves as a wonderful introduction to a great writer. There's no better short story/dramatic monologue than My Last Duchess. It just happens to be written in painstakingly perfect poetic language.

  • Jorge medina
    2019-05-18 00:07

    Reading "My Last Duchess” really grabbed my attention through the whole story it created many possible scenarios about the Duchess paint in my mind about what could it possible means in this short poem by Robert Browning. I think this poem is very interesting because the main character fuel the plot, even when its dramatic and symbolic definition of duchess paints. Duke Ferrara is a very jealous, possessive and control man. Duke possess a portrait on the wall of his last wife covered with curtains and not letting anyone see the portrait; except for a man who has arrive into Ferrara”s house to fix a marriage between another family’s daughter and duke Ferrara. As duke shows the man the portrait, he started to express his feeling and thoughts about his ex-wife mentioning that she never appreciated his honorable name “Somehow I know not how as if she ranked. My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name with anybody’s gift” and she always flirted with every man who got close to her “Too easily impressed; she liked whatever she looked on, and her looks went everywhere”. Duke was possessive and when in the poem says “I gave commands, and then all smiles stopped together” when Ferrara mentioned that he let me think about if he was the one responsible for his wife’s death. The characters are somewhat round and static because through the play the main character which is the duke that surprise me when he started being educated and then he demonstrated his real personality being jealous, and a possessive man. The other character in the play I notice was the man that just listened to the duke expressing himself from the portrait and the man never changed anything in the story. I think that the fact that duke character changed his personality from the beginning to the end made the play very interesting and dramatic that grabbed all my attention, including how specific the duke character was using words while describing her ex-wife. This poem’s characters made the story very authentic and exiting in compared to other similar poems that I had read.

  • carolyn.reads
    2019-04-28 02:09

    Most people know his wife Elizabeth Barrett-Browning instead of him; however, I prefer Robert Browning's poetry to his wife. The first time I read "My Last Duchess" was in my Brit Lit class, we were discussing works from the Victorian Era, I must say it was love at first read. There is something dark and ambiguous about his work that it makes people keep reading to find out where it's going to lead. The poem starts with a haunting sentence "That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call," readers can assume that something tragic and dark has happened, maybe a death. It's so intriguing from the very first sentence, and I think this is what Victorian poetry is supposed to be. I love that he did not explicitly write that the Duke killed his wife, thus, the ambiguity draws readers in. It makes one wondered what did happen to the previous Duchess. Is she still alive or is she dead? The readers do not know what happened to her, all we know is that they are not married anymore. The speculation drove me crazy, but I did some research of my own, turns out that the characters are based on real historical figures, but I admire what Browning did with their story. He drops a hint of curiosity to spark your interest, but the rest is up to you. It's interesting that in most of his work, he is not the speaker/narrator, instead he allows his characters to come alive through the use of first person narration. Browning introduced me to dramatic monologue, where a character unintentionally reveals a hidden secret about themselves, and for that I can enjoy the psychological chilling atmosphere of this particular poem. It's my favorite poem in the world.

  • Arlind Fazliu
    2019-05-11 00:49

    I have only read "My Last Duchess", "Home Thoughts from Abroad", and "Porphyria's Lover". I have been introduced to him in the classes that I've had as part of the Victorian Age in University.They are easy to read but hard to analyze because you have to constantly be aware of not only the things that are said by the characters but also of the things which are unsaid but have to be guessed.Robert Browning must have scared his famous wife Elizabeth Barret with his poems, for they all display themes such as: jealousy, madness, and misogyny. All three of them also found in my fave tragedy of Shakespeare "Hamlet" which is the reason why Robert is sometimes compared to Shakespeare, although there are many differences between them.All in all, I have become fond of poems written in the form of dramatic monologues and I hope I will run into such interesting poems again.

  • Lindsay Paramore
    2019-05-16 22:57

    All of his poems are amazing, but Last Duchess in particular is quite astounding. Must read if you are really into poetry!

  • Maria L. Lucio
    2019-05-03 20:10

    Sincerely, I do not enjoy at all reading poems because they are almost always full of a strange vocabulary that goes beyond my capacity to think. However, there some poems such as “My last Duchess” that really catch my attention. “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning is a mysterious poem hard to understand due to its dramatic monologue. This poem was written in 1842, which makes it part of the Victorian poetry. The Victorian poetry was the poetry written during the reign of Queen Victoria. Thus, Mr. Browning used a lot of this form of poetry in his works. The poem seems to be part of a mystery because the speaker describes his feelings and emotions of a dead woman in a portrait; nevertheless, it can also be seen as an artistic commentary. This poem is full of mystery and an example of that is the speaker himself, the duke. The main character, the speaker, is portrayed as monster, arrogant, and as a possessive and controlling man, and yet he is ironically charming, both in his friendly address and his selection in the use of words. For example, “I gave commands, and then all smiles stopped together” effectively captures the Duke’s arrogant character (Browning, 206). I think that the most obvious demonstration of this is the murder of his wife. The subject of this poem is the longing for a lover that passed away. Also, the Duke’s tone grows harsh while he retrospects how both nature and human could impress her. Likewise, this story made me remember about Porphyria’s Lover poem, which is one of the first dramatic monologues of Mr. Browning. I found them in common because both stories are about dead and love, so maybe the author may combine some his personal feeling in his creation when writing a poem. This poem is very interesting because it shows how humans sometimes appreciate the beauty of women when there is not present alive anymore. The duke remains in loved with the duchess he has had killed, though his affection and love now rests on a just a simple picture of her. In other words, he has chosen to love the “ideal image” of her rather than to have her in real life.

  • Jeff Hobbs
    2019-04-29 02:11

    Poems read--Song from Pippa PassesMy Last Duchess--5Incident of the French CampSoliloquy of the Spanish CloisterJohannes Agricola in MeditationPorphyria's LoverThe Pied Piper of HamelinHow They Brought the Good News from Ghent to AixThe Lost LeaderHome Thoughts from AbroadThe Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed's ChurchEarth's ImmortalitiesMeeting at Night/Parting at Morning--2Love among the RuinsA Lover's QuarrelUp at a Villa--Down in a CityFra Lippo LippiA Toccata of Galuppi'sAn Epistle Containing the Strange Medical Experience of Karshish, the Arab PhysicianA Serenade at the VillaMy StarChilde Roland to the Dark Tower CameLove in a LifeHow It Strikes a ContemporaryThe Last Ride TogetherThe PatriotMemorabiliaAndrea del SartoIn a YearTwo in the Campagna--2A Grammarian's FuneralDis Aliter Visum, or le Byron de nos joursCaliban upon Setebos, or Natural Theology in the IslandConfessionsYouth and ArtApparent FailureHouse--3Wanting Is--What? --2Never the Time and the Place--3The NamesWhy I Am a Liberal

  • Nanette
    2019-05-23 23:05

    I just love porphyria'so lover!In one long yellow string I wound Three times her little throat around,And strangled her. No pain felt she; I am quite sure she felt no pain.As a shut bud that holds a bee, I warily oped her lids: again Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.And I untightened next the tress About her neck; her cheek once moreBlushed bright beneath my burning kiss: I propped her head up as before, Only, this time my shoulder boreHer head, which droops upon it still: The smiling rosy little head,So glad it has its utmost will, That all it scorned at once is fled, And I, its love, am gained instead!Porphyria's love: she guessed not how Her darling one wish would be heard.And thus we sit together now, And all night long we have not stirred, And yet God has not said a word!

  • Ellen
    2019-04-24 19:46

    Have always loved Robert Browning. In addition to the chilling narrative voice of "My Last Duchess," a couple of my other favorites are Fra Lippo Lippi:...Oh, oh, It makes me mad to see what men shall do And we in our graves! This world’s no blot for us, Nor blank; it means intensely, and means good: To find its meaning is my meat and drink.or Andrea del Sarto:Know what I do, am unmoved by men's blameOr their praise either. Somebody remarksMorello's outline there is wrongly traced,His hue mistaken; what of that? or else,Rightly traced and well ordered; what of that?Speak as they please, what does the mountain care?Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,Or what's a heaven for?

  • Emily
    2019-05-03 01:47

    Duke of Ferrara -16th Century . Entertaining a emissary who has come to negotiate the Duke's marriage to another powerful family.stops on a picture of the late Duchess and reminises about portrait she flirts with everyone and didnt appreciate the gift of his 900 year old name.. And killed her.. Then goes back to discussing is marriage arrangement.Written in couplets, dramatic monologues.Does art have a moral component or is it merely an aesthetic exercise ?

  • Dawn
    2019-05-10 00:46

    Browning is that rambly, wildly digressing neighbor who can't tell a story in a straight line. He has to visit every curve on the road to that story, describe every fruit on every tree and explain why they are so important, before he ever gets to a punch line. However, his love of and skill with language is so deep, he's easily forgiven. Plus, when he does hit that punch line, he hits it solidly and hard. So he's worth the wait.

  • Cao Mengqin
    2019-05-02 03:12

    My Last Duchess was treated as a "material" while my research of art history to evoke a significant notion REPRESENTATION. Professor of English and Art History W. J. T. MITCHELL from University of Chicago delivered us another interpretation of this poem in the sense of the representation.Please refer to : for anyone's interest.

  • Lizette
    2019-05-13 23:01

    In this poem by Robert Browning, mention the Duke not only as the main character but, the speaker as well. It is curious that the Duke will be passionate of the paintings and associate them with his former dead wife. To top it off have the courage to talk freely about the death. I figured the Duke had issues; I continue reading it went into detail on what kind of person was he. In the it drive me in another direction.

  • Noor Iqbal
    2019-04-27 21:47

    duchess is the wife of king,and her portrait made by frapendak clergy man, the cruel king suggested not to make any smile of any situation n after of all she died cause to forbidden by smiling.... alas!!!on the conclusion we can see grieves boyond the life there must be some smile and gags for live in earth...

  • Andreea
    2019-05-05 02:16

    Browning is rapidly becoming a serious contender for the title of my favourite Victorian writer, seconded only by George Eliot and Henry James. You simply can't stop yourself from rereading his savage verses until they're imprinted in your memory. I really need to read the courtship correspondence between him and EBB.

  • Carolyn
    2019-05-11 21:12

    While Robert is always semi difficult to read. I read it this time when I was in with the flu. Thus time to sort out some of his more difficult or twisted sentences and I completely got it. This was my third reading of this book in twenty years. But I understand it now.

  • Erin
    2019-05-17 02:52

    I wouldn't normally consider myself a lover of poetry (however, when pressed, I find that I like much more that I had initially thought) but Robert Browning's work transcends the genre. Sometimes chilling, sometimes pompous, always passionate....a pleasure to read.

  • Ana Rînceanu
    2019-05-10 22:11

    I picked this book up because I remember watching 'Pied Piper of Hamelin', the 1957 movie/musical version, when I was a child. The poem is really different, a lot darker, more of a cautionary tale. This poem and 'My Last Duchess' really stood out to me.

  • Jess
    2019-05-20 00:07

    Browning's poems are strange and disturbing, and one can believe Goldman when he tells us in "The Princess Bride" that not one copy of Browning's poems sold the first fortnight they were published. Still, they are worth a read.

  • Kerry
    2019-05-11 22:03

    I love Brownings poems, especially the ones which tell stories. My LAst Duchess is one of my favourite poems, dark and unnerving, the Dukes possessive nature is imbedded in my mind. Memorable and chilling.

  • Sachin
    2019-05-14 21:13

    The most intriguing of all the poets with the introduction of the Dramatic Monologues, a peculiar technique, which speaks volumes of its efficacy.All Praise for Browning for popularizing Dramatic Monologues, and displaying sheer optimism in his poetry.

  • Stephen
    2019-05-14 00:05

    Never remember reading Browning, but picked this up at a little cafe and didn't set it down. I immediately bought it down the street at the cheap Dover Thrift price and have likely read it through more than once.

  • Dora Sky
    2019-05-05 20:08

    "Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!" Robert Browning is phenomenal. That's all.

  • Nidhi
    2019-05-11 21:11

    The way Browning builds up the atmosphere and the surprise denouement...make this poem a very interesting read!

  • Bob Hartley
    2019-05-08 20:05

    Shit, I remember doing this in school. I've gone through My Last Duchess so many times that it gives me a headache.

  • Mii
    2019-05-08 00:48

    This book is a great read!

  • Priscilla Mouta
    2019-04-24 20:57

    Tenho uma edição bilingüe desse livro. Sensacional. Ler Browning melhora meu dia.

  • Halo
    2019-05-15 22:47

    Robert Browning is an absolutely fantastic poet and monologue writer with a great deal of meaning, twists and turns. So memorable and written with precision. Very enjoyable to read and perform.

  • Ginnie Grant
    2019-05-19 23:02

    Dark and sad, but at the same time sweet and romantic. not easily forgotten.