'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover' are poems written by Robert
Browning in the form of a dramatic monologue. They both contain themes
of love, jealousy, contempt and obsession.
In the beginning of 'My Last Duchess' the Duke is speaking about his
wife's portrait to an envoy. In 'Porphyria's Lover' the Lover is
speaking directly to the reader, conveying his thoughts, personifying
the weather perhaps emphasizing his unhappiness ('the sullen wind soon
awake') seeing as he had a 'heart fit to break'. Both the Duke and the
Lover are watching the women whilst they speak. The Duke hints at her
having affairs; 'Fr. Pandolf's hands worked busily', 'busily' implies
that he did more than just paint her picture. The Lover in
'Porphyria's Lover' shows a similarity, as he too was suspicious of
her love, believing she would not give herself fully to him as she was
'from pride and vainer ties', from a higher rank. Both Porphyria and
the duchess are of high ranking. The difference here is that the Duke
believed his wife did not give herself fully to him, but was as
equally impressed with everyone and everything, and the Duke was too
proud to give her the same attention. In 'Porphyria's Lover' the Lover
believed Porphyria was too proud to give him her undivided attention.
The Duke felt that the duchess treated every trivial object with the
same affection she had for him, 'too easily impressed, she liked
whate'er she looked on'.
Although both the Duke and the Lover felt unloved in the beginning
neither made any attempt to convey this to their lovers. The Lover
pretended to be asleep when Porphyria entered the home ('When no voice
... middle of paper ...
... a sculpture created for him; showing
the pompous aspect of his character.
In the beginning of the poem, the Lovers' tone is cold, hostile and
annoyed portrayed through words like 'sullen', 'spite' and 'vex'. When
Porphyria appears, his attitude becomes obsessive and appreciative, as
he watches her every movement as she 'glides' around the house,
observing her 'yellow hair'. There is still a bitter quality to his
words as he contemplates her love for him ('Too weak, for all her
heart's endeavor To set its struggling passion free'). When the Lover
realized Porphyria did genuinely love him his tone is ecstatic and
'Porphyria worshipp'd me; surprise
Made my heart swell
While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine fair,'
The line exposes his arrogance after he has murdered his Lover, 'And
yet God has not said a word'.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ are both poems by the Victorian poet Robert Browning. In this essay I will compare these two poems to find similarities and differences. Both of these poems can be used read from different points of view and they could also be used to show how society treated women in the Nineteenth Century: as assets, possessions. Both of these poems are what are known as a dramatic monologue as well as being written in the first person. The whole poem is only one stanza long, and each line in the stanza comprises of eight syllables.... [tags: Poetry Analysis, Compare/Contrast]
1236 words (3.5 pages)
- Love is a topic that is known worldwide and is greatly debated each and every day. Although not everyone knows what love is, it’s is constantly incorporated in literature. All of the best poets and writers know how to utilize that concept and does it well. Jane Brody explains the importance of love when she writes: “When people fall in love and decide to marry, the expectation is nearly always that love and marriage and the happiness they bring will last; as the vows say, till death do us part.” One of the oddest forms of this writing is from Robert Browning’s texts My Last Duchess and Porphyria’s Lover.... [tags: sick love theme, literary analysis]
902 words (2.6 pages)
- A study of Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess by Robert Browning. The first poem “Porphyria’s lover” is about class and control. A woman shows her control over her lover by seducing him to get attention, moving him to a position she likes and treating him like she is the boss of him and his possessions. The man eventually goes to extremes to get control and kills her. The second poem “My last Duchess” is also about control. The man is showing some important guests around his palace and stops to brag about his recent wife and how he ordered her death.... [tags: English Literature]
805 words (2.3 pages)
- Compare my last duchess and Porhyria's lover considering in particular how the 2 central characters are presented. Both poems, "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria's Lover" have similarities and differences. This can be seen in the two central characters, content and language. In "My Last Duchess" the duke, a rich upper class man, is talking to a messenger of a count whose daughter he wishes to marry. This poem begins in front of his last Duchess painting which is on the wall in the Duke's home. Throughout the poem, we discover the characteristics of the Duke and learn about the murder of the Duchess.... [tags: English Literature]
1422 words (4.1 pages)
- Comparing the Male Characters of Porphyria’s Lover and My Last Duchess The creation of a plausible character within literature is one of the most difficult challenges to a writer, and development to a level at which the reader identifies with them can take a long time. However, through the masterful use of poetic devices and language Browning is able to create two living and breathing characters in sixty or less lines. When one examines these works one has to that they are quite the achievements for they not only display the persona’s of two distinct men but also when compared show large differences while dealing with essentially the same subject.... [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]
1717 words (4.9 pages)
- Compare the two poems ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ by Robert Browning. What do they reveal about attitudes to women and relationships in the nineteenth century. Robert Browning was one of the greatest poets of the nineteenth century. In 1842, he published ‘Dramatic Lyrics’ which included the two poems ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’. In ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ Browning gives the reader a dramatic insight into the twisted mind of an abnormally possessive lover, who wishes the moment of love to last forever.... [tags: Robert Browning, Porphyrias Lover]
2228 words (6.4 pages)
- Compare and contrast Porphyrias lover and My last Duchess “Porphyrias lover” and My Last Duchess are similar in many ways, they are both written by Robert Browning. In “My Last Duchess” the speaker is an Italian Duke who is speaking to the ambassador of a count, whose daughter he hopes, to marry. The Duke is trying to impress the counts representative by showing him around his gallery and the painting of his last Duchess. He openly speaks about having his last Duchess murdered, because she did not show him enough respect.... [tags: English Literature]
944 words (2.7 pages)
The Theme of Love in the Poems First Love, To His Coy Mistress, Porphyria's Lover, My Last Duchess and Shall I Compare Thee?
- The Theme of Love in the Poems First Love, To His Coy Mistress, Porphyria's Lover, My Last Duchess and Shall I Compare Thee. A reader of a love poem has a specific. Prejudiced view of love poetry. Generally, it is that love poetry is sentimental and flattering. It is supposed to talk about flowers and chocolates, romance and passion from one person to another. The reader expects imagery of harts and roses, and cliched similes and metaphors. An affectionate and caring tone should be used.... [tags: Papers]
1962 words (5.6 pages)
- Dramatic Monologue Imagine a single spotlight focus solely on you as you say exactly what you feel. Everybody wants to get their point of view heard. One of the most effective ways for an individual to solely get their point across is a dramatic monologue. A dramatic monologue is a type of poetry written in the form of a speech of an individual character. Dramatic monologue can also be known as a persona poem. Robert Browning was known for his dramatic monologues. “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover” are two well-known poems by him.... [tags: Dramatic monologue, My Last Duchess]
1153 words (3.3 pages)
- In 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess', Browning uses several features of dramatic monologue in order to engage and sustain the interest of the audience. This style of monologue is spoken by a character, which is not the poet, and is usually projected at a critical moment, as in the case of 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover'. The speakers unintentionally reveal their insanity, in both poems, through their separate accounts. By making a comparison of the two poems, it becomes clear that Browning has used similar disturbing themes to illustrate what an individual is capable of doing.... [tags: Robert Browning, My Last Duchess]
2365 words (6.8 pages)