25 April 2012
Thesis Statement: The portrait of the beautiful woman in the poem "My Last Duchess" by Rob-ert Browning, directly contributes to the theme that art can tell stories, reveal emotions, and help move the plot.
I. The setting of this poem, a dark attic of a mansion with several pieces of art, sets the stage for a mysterious situation.
A. In lines nine and ten the Duke says "But to myself they turned (since none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you, but I."
B.This immediately provokes the readers to be suspicious about the painting.
C.Questions are asked like "Why is he the only one that glazes upon the painting?" and "What is he making such an effort to show this man if so?"
II. The painting is symbolic because it is hidden and mysterious, just like the events that took place surrounding the duchess' death.
A. When the Duke is explaining his last duchess' passing, he never explains how she died. It is always hidden just like the picture of her in the attic.
B. The duke says in lines 44 and 45 "I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together."
1.This hints that he may have murdered her.
III. The mood of this poem is derived directly from the setting, that is eerie and daunting.
A.The attic is eerie just for the fact that he keeps a painting of his dead x-wife as a prize possession up there.