Answer and respond to five of the following:
Your answers should be written as direct responses; however, I do expect you to write fully developed paragraphs, in which you substantiate what you say by making direct reference to the poem, or by using quotations. For the creative pieces (1 and 3) feel free to use your imagination. These two pieces however, do require thoughtful creative writing that relates to the text.
1. Write the report the envoy delivers to the count, concerning the prospective marriage of the count's daughter to the Duke of Ferrara.
2. Why, in your opinion, does the Duke of Ferrara show the count's emissary the picture of his last duchess, and say to him what he says? (Remember they are in midst of negotiating the dowry and the marriage terms to his next duchess.)
3. Have the last duchess respond in detail to her husband's words, attitudes, and actions. Give her p.o.v.
4. Write about the poem's structure, narrative development, and literary devices.
5. Of what importance is the statue of Neptune taming a seahorse at the end of the poem?
6. How does or doesn't Browning succeed in have us sympathize with a character as objectionable as the duke? Explain.
7. Discuss the use of irony in this poem.
8. Explain how the Duke's attitudes towards art and artists as revealed in the poem reveal his materialism, aristocratic hauteur, and insecurity.
9. Discuss three contradictory characteristics Browning reveals in the Duke, and show how each quality or characteristic is revealed.
10. With specific reference to the poem, formulate a statement of theme or poetic intention. What truth(s) about human nature does the poem communicate?