The Role of Insanity in 'Prophyria's Lover' Essay

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As the reader examines "Prophyria's Lover" by Robert Browning, one recognizes the complete effort of the speaker to disguise his feelings toward the murder of his wife. The speaker goes through different thoughts in relation to the life he has with his wife. Many thoughts include the positive and negative parts about her and their relationship. Throughout the monologue, the speaker tells the readers of his struggles of coming to the conclusion of murdering his wife and the reasons to do so. In “Prophyria’s Lover”, the speaker is faced with many types of insanity before, during, and after the murder of his wife, Prophyria because of the love he has for her.
The speaker is beginning to go insane when Prophyria completely ignores her husband when she comes into the bedroom. She continuously makes very noticeable movements that are noticed by her husband. She drops her long beautiful hair out of her cloak to show her husband. Her husband realizes that she is trying to make him notice her when the speaker says, "Prophyria worshiped [him]; surprise/ Made [his] heart swell, and still it grew/ While [he] debated what to do" (Browning 33-35). The speaker knows he has to do something about the situation once he knows that she is not ever going to leave him. Once he knows that she is not ever going to leave his side, he takes control of her in the worst way possible, which is shown when the speaker says:
That moment she was [his], [his], fair,
Perfectly pure and good: [he] found
A thing to do, and all her hair
In one long yellow string [he] wound
Three times her little throat around
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
[He is] quite sure she felt no pain. (36-42).
He ends up strangling Prophyria with her own hair, which s...

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...h droops upon it still:” (49-51). The speaker becomes very possessive of his wife, shown when he props her head upon his shoulder to rest peacefully. This type of love becomes very intense and can, as shown here, potentially have an ending of indefinite love by murder.
People’s decisions can be majorly influenced by love and insanity. In “Prophyria’s Lover”, the speaker has to face his inner emotions of love towards his wife, which in the end lead to the murder of his own wife. The struggles of facing inner self has been a cause of the deaths of many people in the world. It can be the struggles of a single person alone, or can be struggles a person may have in which they take another persons life because of the relationship they have between one another.

Works Cited

Harvey, Richard G.. The Wascana Poetry Anthology. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, 1996.

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