What Are the Themes in the Poem “My Last Duchess”?

The main themes in Robert Browning’s poem “My Last Duchess” include the themes of the perception of truth, power, insolence and young love. “My Last Duchess” is considered a dramatic monologue.

Some of the themes presented in the poem “The Last Duchess” include:

  1. The theme of truth
  2. The concept of the truth and the complexities that provide the various perceptions of the truth are themes presented by the dramatic monologue of the poem. In this case, the Duke’s words along with the implied audience’s perception offer insights into the truth as the speaker sees it. The Duke reveals himself as an ugly character with beautiful words.

  3. The theme of power and entitlement.
  4. Power and the misuse of it echoes in the words and actions of the poem’s speaker. No one questions this power which further fuels the Duke’s confidence in his tyrannical, abusive, power-hungry ways with no remorse or consideration.

  5. The theme of insolence.
  6. Insolence can be considered the highest disdain and disrespect for a person. It is this theme that propels, underlies and defines the very core of the Duchess’ fate.

  7. The theme of young marriage.
  8. “My Last Duchess” is a wishful romantic theme taking place during a morally strict era, yet it displays women as objects.