Both Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “For Annie” and Robert Browning’s poem “Porphyrias Lover” create complex relations between sex and death. In “For Annie” the masochistic storyteller sees sexual excitement as a suffering to be endured and embraces the state that follows as an estimate to death. He is masochists, who takes pleasure in envisioning himself dead and resolves his own sexual worries by visualizing a situation in which he is motionless and immobile, while his lover takes on a maternal role. In Robert Browning’s “Porphyrias Lover,” on the other hand, the speaker is vicious, resolving his problems through murdering his lover and rationalizing his actions in terms of an imagined post-sexual state. Both speakers believe they are honorable figures and victims of their own desires, but both disclose in their diction and imagery the real sexual nature of their problems.
Through his writing, Poe directly attributes the narrator’s guilt to his inability to admit his illness and offers his obsession with imaginary events - The eye’s ability to see inside his soul and the sound of a beating heart- as plausible causes for the madness that plagues him. After reading the story, the audience is left wondering whether the guilt created the madness, or vice versa. The story opens with the narrator explaining his sanity after murdering his companion. By immediately presenting the reader with the textbook definition of an unreliable narrator, Poe attempts to distort his audience’s perceptions from the beginning. This point is further emphasized by his focus on the perceived nexus of madness; the eye.
The reader can get the sense that the narrator is evil and has a dark image associated with him. The morbid tone comes from the common implementation that the narrator is committing murder. There is a dramatic tonal shift in the middle of the poem. “So, she was come through wind and rain” (Browning l. 30) is the sentence that changes the way the poem is delivered. From lines 1-30, Browning makes Porphyria the active character and he seems to write this section as a traditional romanticized love poem.
Porphyria’s Lover By Robert Browning “Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning is a poem, which deals with the subject of love. However, unlike most of his Victorian contemporaries, Browning wished to challenge the perceptions of his readers, in this case having the speaker of poem driven increasingly mad by his obsessive love for Porphyria. The reader witnesses the speaker’s obsession growing throughout the poem, from sitting in the cold and dark awaiting Porphyria’s arrival, his manipulative behavior towards her, his desire for more than love from her and his eventual need to possess her. Browning’s skillful use of word choice and imagery throughout the monologue encourages the reader to consider some of the darker consequences of an obsessive love. The scene is set in the first four lines of the poem.
The moment the nameless speaker finally glances into his love’s eyes, he fully abandons his passive nature and reveals his true personality. The persona of Browning’s “Porphyria’s Lover” reveals himself as a sadistic and covetous lover who views Porphyria as a mere possession, and further illustrates himself as a delusional and selfish person. Browning overtly reveals the speaker’s character through proficient word choice, explicit imagery, and the clever use of irony in the poem. The persona’s possessiveness and lunacy is depicted by the poet through the use of diction. To begin with, the speaker’s character is portrayed in one way through the repetition of words in his speech, asserting his intended message.
They’re All Mad Here: A Literary Comparison of “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Masque of the Red Death” Internationally known romantic author Edgar Allan Poe has always represented darkness, madness, and death in his stories. With these representations, Poe must provide this mood for the reader to become engulfed in the madness. In his tale “The Fall of the House of Usher,” Poe uses descriptive details about the dull color and ruggedness of the house and the Ushers themselves to set a gloomy mood. He also describes in detail Roderick Usher’s descent into madness and his fearfulness of death. In turn, he depicts brightly colored chambers in “The Masque of the Red Death,” but the arrangement of colors provides a chaotic aesthetic to the viewer.
She looks after him and she offers herself to him. Therefore he thinks that she is too weak for him to fall in love. He strangles her. He opens her eyes, unwraps the hair from her neck and spends rest of his night by hugging to her corpse. The Porphyria’s Lover has written with a Iambic tentameter.
"My Last Duchess" introduces a Duke who becomes consumed by his need to feel superior and in complete control, which also leads him to murder. "The Laboratory" concerns a woman driven by jealousy, defying all morals to achieve her own wants. Porphyria's Lover, My Last Duchess and The Laboratory are all excellent examples of Browning's use of the dramatic monologue. This is a style of poem in which the narrator unwittingly reveals a dark secret or action of theirs whilst attempting to rationalise their actions to the audience and or their listener in the poem. The dramatic monologue allows the reader to enter the character's psyche and develop a deep understanding of their mindset.
A key difference between the two narrators is how they show their love for their mistresses. Both poems were written in the literary from known as dramatic monologue, and narrated by a male speaker. A dramatic monologue shows the reader the narrator’s inner thoughts and motives when involved in a particular situation. Using this literary technique, Browning allows the reader to explore the abnormal psychology of the two speakers and also to get closely involved with two acts of murder. Prior to the murders, both speakers are shown to be extremely possessive of their women.
He is just mocking his last wife to the emissary. Throughout the poems irony, rhetorical questions and Euphemisms are used which soften the truth by putting it in an indirect way. For example in Porphyria's Lover: 'A thing to do, and all her hair.' In both poems the main theme is obsessive love which leads to the murders of both lovers.