Ferrara’s Fatal Fancies

I’ve read Browning’s poem: “My Last Duchess” and here are my answers to your four questions.


1. The speaker is a duke named Ferrara. He’s a powerful man, who is also very proud, and also somewhat stuck up.

2. He is speaking a servant of a wealthy and generous count. He is trying to show himself as a powerful man. Hhe points out his title to  “a nine-hundred-years-old family name” (33). 

3. My understanding of what happened to the duchess is that she didn’t give him the respect that he “deserved,” so he had her killed. He refers to how her smiles seem only as a courtesy to him so he “gave commands/and all smiles stopped” (45-46). I take this to mean that he felt that he grew jealous that she gave (well meant) attention to other men, and her lack of special respect for him infuriated him. 

4. This last question is a little bit harder to answer. He seems to believe that his station as duke and his old family name make him better than everyone else. He is horribly jealous. He speaks of how she kindly thanks him and blushes at his gifts the same as everyone else’s. 


1 Comment

  1. danielsbrown said,

    July 26, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Very good!

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