The poem is composed by Robert Browning presenting the persona duke who hails from Ferreira as the main character. He is given to the representatives of a nobleman whom he is scheduled to marry the daughter sooner. Below is the synopsis of the work.
A Plot Overview of the Poem
The poem starts with the duke pulling the curtains to unveil the portrait of his previous duchess to the representatives of the nobleman who he’s scheduled to marry his child. He gives credit to the Portrait painter by the name Fra Pandolf a monk from within his jurisdiction. The persona believes in his artwork ability hence affirms that the portrait captures every singularity of his last wife’s glance. He gives his account about who the initial wife was. The duke goes ahead to tell the nobleman’s envoy that his wife’s glimpse was solely not meant for him alone. He holds that the wife was easily swayed. His wife was moved by minor things to share her benevolent status.
The recount of the dukes’ wife nature creates a harsh tone in him. He holds that the last wife paid little respect her name and the old age family lineage since unbelievable things moved her. He goes on to open to sent envoy how his previous wife’s unacceptable love for everything pushed the command of killing her.
The storyline switches to Duke and Count encounter for the first time. Before the count meeting, the duke uses terminative pictures describing the characters of his last duchess while stressing the termination of a life cycle. However, he doesn’t clarify whether or not the life cycle end should mean having no children. He, however, affirms that without kids, no one is left to carry the family’s representation to the next generation. He then uses a sterile scapegoat to bring the picture home. However, it is still not clear whether he refers himself unable to sire children or the last wife was barren.
He finishes his narration and requests the representatives to escort him as he goes back to Count. The soon to be married duchess’s father says that he anticipates something bigger as dowry since he is happier when with her daughter. On their journey back, the duke hold firm that the nobleman’s envoy should walk side by side with him, contrary to the tradition’s social expectations whereby a highly ranked leader is expected to walk on a separate lane from those lower hierarchically. The duke goes ahead to plan another marriage with this young girl, probably from Count. The Duke’s last Duchess end here.