“Porphyria’s Lover” and “The Laboratory” both deal with crimes of
passion. Explore ways Browning explains ways of obsessive nature of
his character and analysis the effects of literary techniques.
“Porphyria’s Lover” is a poem about a crime and passion. Porphyria is
a young, wealthy girl who seems to have abandoned her family’s
tradition of choosing wealthy men as lovers. Her lover remains
anonymous, this could be because he has murdered her and does not want
his name releasing. There is no actual reference as to why he
committed this crime we can only make suggestions. Perhaps it was
because she would not forsake her affluent companions for him, or
because he felt she did not share his love for her. This poem is in
the lover’s point of view only, so we can not really know how
Porphyria is feeling, we can only guess from her body language and her
actions mentioned and her actions. It is a Victorian poem and Browning
uses sexual references, which is very unusual because sex was a taboo
and was not discussed openly in Victorian times.
At the beginning of the poem, there is a storm brewing which is
mirroring the lover’s feelings. He is angry at Porphyria and
desperately wants her love
“The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm tops down for spite,”
The wind has been personified which is particularly effective because
it heightens the anger the lover is feeling and soon realises this.
Browning cleverly set's the scene by using strong word such as
"sullen", "tore" and "vex". Already we can see that this man, the
lover, desperately craves the love of Porphyria, and leads us to
question why he is so angry and what happened previous to this as to
make him ...
... middle of paper ...
...eless of body,
and he wants her, he possesses her. This time it is she that needs
him, she was not strong enough before but now it is she that needs him.
He is trying to make comparisons from before and now, he wants to go
back to that moment and hold it.
“I propped her head up as before,”
We see that, in death, the head is extremely heavy now because he now
has to hold it in place; she has now been reduced to a limp corpse.
The lover depersonalises her by thinking for her, and now she truly
is, his possession. He feels he has won the battle with her wealth
family and friends
“And I, its love, am gained instead!”
He now believes that he has evaded the law and has her forever now,
unwilling to share her with anyone else. He feels God is condoning his
actions, and will not be punished, he is arrogantly believing he has
escaped charges of murder.
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