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My Last Duchess

My Last Duchess

by Robert Browning

My Last Duchess Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Would you be willing to marry the Duke of Ferrara?
  2. What else do you think the Duke might have in his gallery, besides the portrait of the Duchess and the bronze statue of Neptune taming a seahorse?
  3. Is it significant that the portrait of the Duchess is painted on the wall, instead of on a canvas? Why might a painter work directly on the surface of the wall, instead of on a surface that could be moved?
  4. Why doesn’t the Duke tell the Duchess directly that her behavior annoys him? What exactly does the Duchess do that drives him so wild?
  5. Why does the Duke tell this story about his "last Duchess" to the servant of the man whose daughter he hopes to marry next?
  6. Why are the only two named people in the poem, Frà Pandolf and Claus of Innsbruck, painters?

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