Contradicting Lovers

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“Poryphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning and “[My mistresses’s eyes are nothing like the sun]” by William Shakespeare are poems that deal with the theme of love. Each of the narrators love their significant others. Even though the narrators and the women are in a completely separate social classes, they love each other unconditionally. Browning and Shakespeare portray the connection between the lovers by using many literary devices such as: situational irony, descriptions, tone, and mood. The poems are similar in the way that the narrator is madly in love with the women, but different in the way which the narrators choose to reveal their unrestricted love.
Poryphyria is a beautiful woman who is of a high social status. The narrator loves this women so irrevocably that he accepts that she does not want to invite him to the big parties she attends because she does not want to be seen with a man like himself. The narrator never wants to lose Poryphyria, which leads to the first literary element Browning uses-- situational irony. The entire poem leads the audience to believe that they are getting along, and they will be having a long night full of cuddling by the fire and loving on each other; however, when he strangles Poryphyria with her own hair, it tends to take the audience by complete surprise. The narrator uses extremely vivid descriptions of her limp body. As Elizabeth Browning explains, “[The narrator] uses vegetative imagery to describe her: her eyelid is like a shut bud holds a bee . . .” The narrator’s descriptions help the reader describe the situation: he verbalizes, “And I untightened next the tress/ About her neck; her cheek once more/ Blushed bring beneath my burning kiss” Situational irony and description contribu...

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...ories depiction of love. The two narrators love their women even though they are of different social classes. One woman is beautiful and one is not, but that does not change the fact that these women are loved by their significant others. Without each other, their lives would be meaningless. Although these poems have the same theme, each man presents his love in a tremendously different way.

Works Cited

Browning, Elizabeth. "Porphyria's Lover." Porphyria's Lover., 04 Feb. 2009. Web. 04 Apr. 2014.
Browning, Robert. "Poryphryia’s Lover." The Norton Introduction to Literature. New York: W.W Norton, 2010. 851. Print.
Rodriguez, Dr. "Dr. Rodriguez." Sonnet 130., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2014.
Shakespeare, William. “[My mistresses’s eyes are nothing like the sun]” The Norton Introduction to Literature. New York: W.W Norton, 2010. 1072. Print.
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