Study Guide

The Duchess of Monmouth in The Picture of Dorian Gray

By Oscar Wilde

The Duchess of Monmouth

We have to admit, we were a bit worried about the charming young Duchess of Monmouth, since people who hang out with Dorian tend to end up dead or miserable, or both.

However, she seems to have escaped through either luck or wit—she is, after all, quite the intelligent lady. She's the only woman that we see who can hold her own against the dagger-like wit of Lord Henry, and she's well matched with both him and Dorian. Could this be why Dorian isn't interested in ruining her? Is she perhaps a little too close to Dorian and Henry themselves?

Though she seems to be truly enamored of Dorian, we get the feeling that there's more to her than meets the eye. As Henry suggests, perhaps the Duchess is simply too clever. Or perhaps she just lucks out, since Dorian dies before he can lead her to ruin.