First, the Duke has lost a wife, and yet the emotions associated with loss are not apparent in the poem.As the poem opens, the speaker’s pride is clearly exposed.By way of example, the Duchess’ sociable nature was something that the speaker disliked.
As a matter of fact, people will be appealed to those others who are easily sociable.
Again, enjoying aspects of nature such as sunrise is an admirable aspect.
From the way the speaker reacts to the Duchess personality, it is evident that the speaker is not happy with her.
For instance, the speaker is not happy with the way the Duchess expressed appreciation to those men who offered her gifts.
The speaker feels that the Duchess is discriminative in the way she expresses gratitude.
This is clearly illustrated by the speaker’s observation that the Duchess thanked men “as if she ranked/My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name/With anybody’s gift…” (31-34).Second, Browning used description to demonstrate that the speaker is actually cruel.The speaker describes some aspects of the Duchess which to him are undesirable.The jealousy arose from the personality of the Duchess: showing respect to every one, smiling to every person who walked past her, and being grateful to everyone.When the speaker felt that he could not stomach this personality anymore, he “gave commands/Then all smiles stopped together/There she stands/As if alive” (45-47).This way, the central argument of this paper is, through the words of a member of a Victorian royal family, Robert Browning skillfully exposes the despicable aspects of wealth and power.There are several instances in the poem that illustrate the negative aspects of wealth and power.Through the reactions of the speaker, the Duke, to the aspects described in the life of the Late Duchess, the reader can inevitably learn about the personality of the Duke.The motivation for the personality of the Duke is clearly linked to his wealthy, powerful position that the royal family places him as the Duke.The speaker explains that the Duchess was “Too easily impressed” and that “she liked whate’er/ She looked on…” (21-24).These illustrations demonstrate that the Duchess was an ordinary woman who would appeal both to people and nature.