Impact of Wealth and Power in My Last Duchess by Robert The Essay This Victorian poem, Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess, revolves around a painting of the late Duchess of Ferrara.In the poem, her life-time husband describes her human qualities, how she enjoyed life, how she died, and the aftermath of her death.The speaker explains that the Duchess was “Too easily impressed” and that “she liked whate’er/ She looked on…” (21-24).
This is a clear indication that the speaker felt that the Duchess was biased against him when it came to being appreciative.
It is interesting to note that it is power and wealth that the speaker believes he should be thanked for.
However, in this case, the speaker seems to be impressed by the quality of the painting, rather than what it symbolizes.
His financial ability to get the best known painter is what makes him insensitive to the fact that this painting symbolizes his departed Duchess.
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.
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.
In noting that his gift to her of a 900-year old is more valuable than any other gift, it clearly demonstrates the value that the speaker attaches to wealth and wealth.
In other words, wealth and power overshadows desirable human traits.