What Makes Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess" a Dramatic Monologue?

"My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning is considered a dramatic monologue because it has an implied audience, no dialogue, a narrator speaking through a different voice and a sense of a gap between what is being said and what is actually revealed. This poem, along with Browning's poem "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister," are considered models of dramatic monologue, which influenced later poets such as Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot.

"My Last Duchess" was first published in 1842 in the book "Dramatic Lyrics." The narrator is a duke named Ferrara. His "last duchess" is a woman in a painting. Later on in the poem, it is revealed that the audience is a Count's envoy sent to arrange a marriage, and the woman in the painting is the duke's late wife.