The poem is a dramatic monologue written in 1842. In the poem only of one side of an ongoing conversation is heard. Although the speaker is unnamed, he is an Italian Duke of Ferrara while the listener is a messenger. The messenger comes from a Wealthy Count. He brings a marriage offer to the Duke with the Count’s daughter. From the poem, the crucial aspect is the revelation of the Duke’s character in the way he says what he has to and how he says it. In the monologue, the reader’s focus is on solely on the speaker who unsparingly brags about his wealth. Further, the Duke steadily relates the disposal of his earlier wife with offense to his vanity. In his bragging, the Duke fails to mention his last wife by name and only signifies her as mere possession like any other he had. In addition, the term ‘Last’ could have been used to signify previous or the most recent in a lengthy line of other previous wives. Irony arises from the fact that the Count messenger’s visit, intends to arrange for marriage dowry for the Count’s daughter. From the portrait, the Duchess is revealed as having a very innocent personality. It is because of her beauty that the Duke develops negative emotions of jealousy and apathy and ends up killing her. He justifies his actions with the madness that he could not love without possessing especially since ‘her looks went everywhere’. Through his motivation to destroy the Duchess identity, the Duke ends up literary killing her, but leaves behind her portrait, which he shows off to his guests.
The short story is an almost exclusive dialogue that portrays a serious discussion in a situation involving the decision-making affecting the lifetime of a young female (Paul, 2005). In the story, Hemingway provides the role of an eavesdropper to the audience regarding the conversation between the couple. ...
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