The main themes of the poem “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning are jealousy, control and insanity which are enhanced through the motifs of communication and art.
As you have seen, the speaker was overwhelmed by feelings of jealousy in his relationship with his late wife. He could not stand the idea that his wife attracted the attention of others and responded to their attentions with smiles. What is more, the speaker suggests that it was because of his jealousy that his wife is no longer alive, as if he might have ordered her to be killed.
Romantic jealousy is a powerful, yet destructive feeling. If it is not rationalised or kept under control, it can cloud people’s judgment and cause a lot of suffering for both persons in a couple. In the relationship between the Duke and the Duchess depicted in the poem, it is clear that both of them failed to handle their relationship properly. The Duchess dismissed the Duke’s jealousy and continued flirting with others while the Duke failed to truly express ...