The poem also shows us how he uses a sinister edge to many of his words, this is shown throughout the poem and is best shown when he is talking about his ex-wife.
An example of this is when he is talking about the things about her that disgusted him, “Just this or that in you disgusts me,” another example is when he is talking about the look on her face in the painting and says, “For calling up that spot of joy. ” A final example of how his words have a sinister edge to them is when he is talking about how he wants to change her and says, “If she let herself be lessoned so.” All these quotes show a sinister edge to his speech but this sinister edge is best shown in the quote, “If she let her be lessoned so,” as he uses the word lessons instead of a more appropriate word such as taught.
This use of the word ‘lessoned’ is an innuendo as it means for her to be taught but also implies that he wants to make her feel ‘smaller’ and change her into less of a person. The poem also shows us how the Duke suffers from not only paranoia but also a sexual disgust.This is firstly hinted at the very start of the poem when we find out that even now, the Duke keeps the picture of his last Duchess hidden away behind a curtain, and then further shown when he talks about the painter and his wife. The poem suggest that the Dukes sexual disgust towards his ex-wife was due to the way she behaved around other men and is best shown when he talks about what he thinks happened when she was having her painting. This idea about sexual paranoia/disgust of his ex-wife and Fra’ Pandolf first comes to show near the very beginning of the poem and is shown repeatedly in words which have a double meanings.
The first example of this is when the Duke says, “Fra’ Pandolf’s hands worked busily a day,” this quote shows us that he suspects Fra’ Pandolf’s hands of working all day on his ex-wife, and not on the painting. Another example of his is when he is explaining that Fra’ Pandolf’s had a the opportunity to chat her up, and how he believes he did, and he says “Fra’ Pandolf’s chanced to say ‘her mantle laps over my lady’s wrist to much’ or ‘paint must never hope to reproduce that faint half-flush along her throat.” This quote shows us many words which could have a sexual double meaning, for example when he says, “her mantle laps over my lady’s wrist to much” this use of the word laps suggests licking and tongues, and also when he says, “Paint must never hope to reproduce that faint half-flush along her throat.
” This quote shows two words, which have a double meaning one being flush, which suggests blushing and sexual excitement and emotions, and the other being throat, which suggests that the painter is looking at her neck/upper chest area.