My Last Duchess
1) The speaker sounds as if he is a duke. In the beginning of the poem, it has been said “Ferrara” (910) meaning the duke of the Italian city is set to marry again after the death of his first wife. From this the duke is the speaker who is talking about his “Last Duchess”.
2) The speaker, who is the duke, is talking about his last wife who had a mysterious death to a representative “The Count your master’s known munificence…” (911). He is talking about the Duchess’s flaws and imperfections, “Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse” (911).
3) The Duchess died in a mysterious death. The Duke seems to be the suspicious murderer or killer to the death of the Duchess. He seems suspicious by saying “I gave commands; Then all stopped together. There she stands As if alive” (911) because the Duke gave the Duchess commands but did not follow them and she no longer stands alive. Furthermore, here it sounds the Duke is threatening the new fiancée that if she doesn’t follow his commands he will kill her.
4) The speaker in My Last Duchess unintentionally reveals that the Duke has also failed to be imperfect and having fault. Here the speaker says “She had A hear how shall I say? Too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er She looked on, and her looks went everywhere” (21-24) saying he is mad at her for be easily liked by everyone she meets. Furthermore the Duke reveals himself having flaws by failing to be the only person to excite or make his Duchess happy, “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” (27-32).