Connection: “My Last Duchess” to Othello

The ending to “My Last Duchess” serves to reinforce the theme of jealousy, throughout the poem. It carries with it much the same message as Othello did: jealousy is a terrible thing that will only grow and lead to misfortune. Parallels can also be seen between Desdemona and the Duchess, as they both appear to be completely innocent. Both also seem to be very happy, the Duchess is described as always smiling “much the same smile” (45). Although the Duchess may have been slightly flirtatious, she did not appear to cuckold her husband. Both wife’s actions were misinterpreted by their husbands, and eventually led to their demise. They were both completely innocent actions as well: Desdemona was trying to help out her friend, and the Duchess was just being personable. While Othello had Iago to plant the seed of jealousy in him, the Duke appears to have no scheming Iago; the Duke’s jealousy seems to have come from himself alone.

-B

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