These poems by Robert Browning were written in the Victorian era. The
Victorians from the outlook seemed to live on high standards and
rules, but underneath they craved for scandal and gossip. Robert
Browning gave this to them through his poems. They were filled with
adultery, passion, sexual tension and murder.
'Porphyria's Lover' starts off with pathetic falacy which reflects the
narrators mood, he does this by using personification which also sets
the scene. "Sullen wind was soon awake," "Did it's worst to vex the
lake" Although outside the weather is described as being harsh and
fierce, Porphyria brings a comforting warmth to the house. "Made the
cheerless grate blaze up, and all the cottage warm."
The start of 'My Last Duchess' doesn't initially set the scene like in
'Porphyria's lover' but it introduces the main theme of the poem, the
Dukes last Duchess. "That's my last Duchess on the wall, looking as if
she were alive." This makes us feel for the Duke for the loss of his
wife. But as you read on you begin to see the true side of the Duke.
"Fra Pandolfs hands worked busily a day." This makes you feel that he
sees her as just another piece of artwork, a prize, a trophy, not as a
lover or a companion.
The man in 'Porphyria's lover' sees her as in control, "She put my arm
about her waist." He feels that she is just using him and that this
affair can not go on. But as you read on he realizes that this is not
just an affair, he has realized that Porphyria loves him. "Porphyria
... middle of paper ...
... independence eventually lead to her death. The Duke saw her as I
trophy bt did she see him as anything more than a safe and easy life?
The scene in 'Porphyria's Lover' makes the house feel safe and warm
from the storm, she comes in and shuts the out the cold and starts a
fire, giving a warm glow to the small cottage. But it is a false
security because no one could prepare for what would happen inside.
The scene in 'My Last Duchess' feels very uptight, it is in a very
wealthy house, looking at prestigious artists work. It has a verry
different feel to 'Porphyria's lover'
In conclusion, because the Victorians craved for such scandal these
poems were written. They both contain affairs, women trying to
overpower men, murder and above all, the idea that the Victorians
regimented lives were not always as they seemed.
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