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My Last Duchess


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"Will't please you sit and look at her?"
Phrased as a question but is really a thinly-veiled threat for all the criticisms he is about to list
" 'Frá Pandolf' by design"
Repetition of this esteemed artist to emphasise his wealth and importance.
"(since none puts by the curtain I have drawn for you, but I)"
The narrator is implying it is a privalage to be shown the picture.
"Sir, twas not her husband's presence only, called that spot of joy into the Duchess' cheek"
He saw her innocent smiling and blushing as flirting, consuming him with envy.
" 'Paint must never hope to reproduce the faint half-flush that dies along her throat' "
Frá Pandolf flatters the Duchess by implying he could never reproduce something so beautiful.
"My favour at her breast"
The narrator lists things that pleased the Duchess. He believes his 'favour at her breast' was the priority.
"My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name"
Referring to his status yet again.
"had you skill in speech (which I have not)"
Irony - the narrator has performed a whole dramatic monologue.
"she smiled, no doubt, whene'er I passed her, but who passed without much the same smile?"
He believed he should receive special treatment as her husband.
"I gave commands"
Euphemism for murder - another threat.
"Though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed at starting, is my object"
A facade that all he wants is the daughter, as opposed to the 'dowry' mentioned in the previous line.
"if they durst...not the first"
Rhyming couplets represent his possessive and strict nature in their relationship