Robert Browning Poems: My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover Essay

Robert Browning Poems: My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover Essay

Length: 3771 words (10.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Robert Browning is one of the most celebrated poets of the Victorian
age. His two poems I am working from, "My Last Duchess" and
"Porphyria's Lover", are just samples of his eminent work. Browning
wrote a range of monologues when living in Italy with his wife,
Elizabeth Barret. Dramatic monologues are the basis of the essay. I
will discuss whether (or not) each poem "creates a character who
reveals himself in what he has to say".

My Last Duchess is a monologue spoken by the Duke. He talks about his
relationship with his recently deceased wife. Through the words of the
poem, he reveals the true demise of the Duchess and the reader is
shown the Duke's feelings and opinions of this woman. Porphyria's
Lover is also about the death of a woman. It involves a possessive
lover who wishes to enshrine a moment of love. Though his method is
everything but normal. Both poems are filled with rhyming couplets,
however with the technique of enjambment, they are almost
undetectable. This is a clever and subtle insinuation to the murderous
deed in hand.

I would first like to comment on the titles of both poems. My Last
Duchess can give many hints to what the poem regards. The word 'My'
can symbolise the Duke's wish to own the Duchess and using "My"
creates this image. "Last" may make the reader think that she is the
latest in a long line of wives, or that she is the last wife once and
for all. Porphyria's Lover is left unnamed. Using 'Duchess' the reader
can imagine that the male character is a Duke and therefore he has a
title and a label. The 'Lover' is anonymous; he has no name, but uses
'Porphyria' to describe himself. This makes him very...


... middle of paper ...


...anonymous Lover is possessively insane. He is driven only by his
love for Porphyria. He feels restrained by society and feels that the
moment she declares she is his; he cannot let it slip away. Time is
against him and he had to find some way of keeping her perfectly
preserved and unchanged. The Lover also reveals his rebellion against
religion and God, thinking that God will not condemn him, as his deed
was not wrong.

I prefer Porphyria's Lover to My Last Duchess, as the Duke is terribly
arrogant and pedantic. The Lover, I believe, truly loved Porphyria
with all his heart, though it is baffling why he felt death was the
only option. Whereas the Duke, did not love his wife but saw her as a
possession to show off in front of people. The painting must surely
work the way he wants it, as it is another thing to show off.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Robert Browning's Poems My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover Essay

- ... He wanted more respect and believed that to be what he deserved, and when he felt it was not given he took her life from her. Porphyria’s Lover is a very similar text in these regards. The speaker was jealous of the fact that Porphyria had not spent all her time with him and that she had been out in society without him their with her. He felt he should be the one to dominate her time and he never wished to see her happy with another investment of her time. “But passion sometimes would prevail, nor could tonight’s gay feast restrain a sudden thought of one so pale for love of her, and all in vain: so, she was come through wind and rain.”(Porphyria’s Lover lines 26-30) He describes her wor...   [tags: women's equality, content analysis]

Powerful Essays
1462 words (4.2 pages)

Compare two Robert Browning poems - The Laboratory and My last Duchess.

- Compare two Robert Browning poems - The Laboratory and My last Duchess. The two Robert Browning poems I have chosen are 'The Laboratory' and 'My last Duchess'. My initial reaction on reading The laboratory was one of horror and fascination as it tells a tale of a woman scorned. I found it horrifying that a human being could plan in such a cold and calculating way, but I also found this fascinating. 'Not that I bid you spare her the pain; Let death be felt and the proof remain:' My feelings on reading My Last Duchess was pity for the Duke who was narrating the poem as it was clear that his jealousy and insecurity had ruined their relationship.` 'she smiled, no doubt, Whene'er I passed her;...   [tags: English Literature]

Free Essays
722 words (2.1 pages)

Analyzing How Robert Browning Uses Dramatic Monologue to Portray Madness in His Poems My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover

- Analyzing How Robert Browning Uses Dramatic Monologue to Portray Madness in His Poems My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover A dramatic monologue is when a character in a piece of writing speaks their thoughts and feelings out loud. It is used because it gives an insight into the persons mind. Browning chose this form for the two poems because it makes the poem feel more realistic and you know everything the character is feeling it also subconsciously makes the reader feel certain emotions towards particular characters....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1442 words (4.1 pages)

My Last Duchess By Robert Browning Essay

- My Last Duchess Robert Browning, a British poet, who was fascinated with poems at a young age. Most of Browning teaches came from his father, he was already proficient in reading and writing by the age of five. Browning was fluent in Spanish, Greek and French. He began writing poems after he dropped out of college, most of his work had dramatic monologue- especially the use of diction, rhymes, and symbols. In 1842 he published “ My Last Duchess” The speaker in the poem is believed to be Alfonso Il d’Este (1533-1598) who married fourteen year old Lucrezia di Cosimo de Medici at the age twenty five....   [tags: My Last Duchess, Robert Browning, Marriage]

Powerful Essays
726 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on My Last Duchess and Porphyria’s Lover by Robert Browning

- My Last Duchess and Porphyria’s Lover by Robert Browning In the two poems there is a lot of ‘dramatic monologue’ where the writer is showing his personal his personal feelings in the poem. It is also classified when a single person is talking and asking questions with no reply like in ‘The Last Duchess’ the Duke is talking to the servant about his past wife but all the servant is interested in is whether the Duke will marry the Count’s daughter. My Last Duchess is about a duke who wants to marry the Count’s daughter....   [tags: Robert Browning Poetry Poems Essays]

Powerful Essays
603 words (1.7 pages)

Comparing My Last Duchess By Robert Browning Essay

- The purpose of this essay is to analyze and compare and contrast the two paired poems “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning and “My Ex-Husband” by Gabriel Spera to find the similarities presented within the pairs. Despite the monumental time difference between “My Last Duchess” and “My Ex-Husband”, throughout both poems you will see that somebody is wronged by someone they thought was a respectable person and this all comes about by viewing a painting on the wall or picture on a shelf. The themes within the poems are very parallel....   [tags: My Last Duchess, Robert Browning, Marriage]

Powerful Essays
1008 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Robert Browning's My Last Duchess Character Analysis

- Murder…mystery…intrigue…All describe Robert Browning's poem, "My Last Duchess." From the speakers indirect allusions to the death of his wife the reader might easily think that the speaker is a bit crazy and committed a vengeful crime out of jealousy. His flowery speech confuses and disguises any possible motives; however, the mystery is left unsolved. Based on the poem's style and structure, it becomes evident that even if the speaker did not directly kill his wife, he certainly had something to hide....   [tags: Robert Browning, Poems, Poetry, Prose]

Free Essays
663 words (1.9 pages)

Porphyria’s Lover, My Last Duchess and The Laboratory Essay

- Porphyria’s Lover, My Last Duchess and The Laboratory In this essay I hope to prove that Robert Browning’s murder mystery poems are fulfilled with intrigue and excitement. I also hope to prove that in his poems he creates vivid characters and uses poetic techniques to expose a world of madness and wickedness. To show that the statements above are true I will be writing about the characters, the poetic features in each poem and the madness and wickedness in each poem. This essay will include three of Robert Browning’s poems; they are Porphyria’s Lover, My Last Duchess and The Laboratory....   [tags: Robert Browning Poems Poetry Essays]

Powerful Essays
2589 words (7.4 pages)

`` Keep Talking, By Philip Levine And My Last Duchess `` By Robert Browning

- Often times in feminist research, there has been a major focus on women. This makes sense, being that in most cultures women still don’t hold an equal standing with their male counterparts. Yet in the patriarchal society seen in most western cultures, there are still extreme setbacks for men. Though the patriarchy tends to favor men in many aspects, it holds them back in what is seen as an essential part of being human; expressing emotions. These emotions are bottled up and often turn into rage....   [tags: Gender role, Gender, Masculinity, My Last Duchess]

Powerful Essays
1356 words (3.9 pages)

My Last Duchess and Porphyrias Lover by Robert Browning Essay

- Robert Browning wrote the two poems, "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria's Lover." Both poems convey an thoughtful, examination profound commentary about the concept of love. communicates two interpretations concerning Both poems describe the behavior of people who are in loving, romantic relationships. There are several aspects common in both poems. Using the literary technique of dramatic dialogue, the author reveals the plot and central idea of each poem. Robert Browning tells each poetic story through a single speaker....   [tags: Robert Browning]

Powerful Essays
1244 words (3.6 pages)