Symbols in My Last Duchess

Text of the Poem 1
"Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse..."   (Text of the Poem)

Notice how Browning uses the statue, which the Duke has had specially commissioned, to ironically reveal the Duke’s inflated self-image: The Duke sees himself as Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, exercising his power over a fragile, defenseless seahorse that symbolizes both his Last Duchess and his future bride.