Robert Browning’s "Porphyria’s Lover" contains the methodical ramblings of a lunatic; it is a madman’s monologue that reveals the dark side of human nature. Power and passion coalesce to form the strangulation of the beautiful and innocent Porphyria, and at the same time strangle the reader’s ability to comprehend what is occurring and why it is occurring. The murder’s monologue depicts a heinous crime. The simple fact that the monologue is issued from the murderer himself creates a sense of distrust. There is no doubt that the man is disturbed, but the level of his lunacy remains uncertain. In one short poem, Browning provides an intense glimpse into the mind of a homicidal maniac, while single-handedly destroying the romantic notion of eternal love.
The first clue that something unusual or insane in going to occur in "Porphyria’s Lover" manifests itself in the title. Before her lover has a chance to speak he is suspect because "porphyria," as defined by Reader’s Digest Illustrated Encyclopedia Dictionary is:
A hereditary disease involving disturbance in the metabolism of porphyrins [organic compounds that provide the foundation structure for blood in animal tissues] and producing symptoms of mental confusion, neuritis, and abdominal pain. (1319)
The title suggests that Porphyria’s lover is not even revealing the name of the woman he strangles. He may in fact suffer from the condition porphyria, in which case he is deranged and completely unreliable as a narrator. If he is not an actual sufferer of the disease, the title would suggest that his love for the woman is the disease porphyria, and this passionate love produces the confusion and pain that motivates him ...
... middle of paper ...
...: A Study of the Complementary Poems of Robert Browning. Athens: Ohio UP, 1973.
Ingersol, Earl G. "Lacan, Browning, and the Murderous Voyeur:'Porphyria’s Lover' and 'My Last Duchess.'" Victorian Poetry 28.2 (Summer 1990) : 151—7.
Maxwell, Catherine. "Browning’s ‘Porphyria’s Lover.’" Exolicator 52.1 (1993): 27—30.
Phelps, William L. Robert Browning. Indianapolis: Bob Merril Co, 1932.
Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. Reader’s Digest Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary. Pleasantville: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1987.
Slinn, E. Warwick. Browning and the Fictions of Identity. Totowa: Barnes and Noble, 1982.
Tucker, Herbert F. "From Monomania to Monologue: ‘St. Simeon Stylites’ and the Rise of the Victorian Dramatic Monologue." Victorian Poetry 22.2 (Summer 1984) : 121-37.
Tracy, Clarence, ed. Browning’s Mind and Art. London, Oliver and Boyd, 1968.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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)
- Sometimes poets can write the most absurd and questionable things. Even though that their writing is questionable at times, it is still worth the read. It makes you think about criminals in a new way, but sometimes, it can go to a more negative view. Robert Browning, a man who might not have had a teacher, self-taught himself in his father’s six thousand book library decided to become a poet. One of the many poems that he wrote, My Last Duchess, is about a man whose wife just died and he is looking into a new woman to marry.... [tags: insane character's in poetry]
986 words (2.8 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)
- 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]
1244 words (3.6 pages)
- The murder was a method to attain love in both monologues. 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover' are famous dramatic monologues by Robert Browning who wrote forms of dramatic monologue in the Victorian era. Both the poems sketch the man’s obsession with a woman that concludes in her murder. His way of showing love is that it eventually turns into death or a murder. Together the monologues include the issues of jealousy, obsession, love, and hatred. Individually the speakers were exceptionally possessive, the murders were deliberate; the monologues had different setting, tone, and approach to make it sound more dramatic.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
1647 words (4.7 pages)
- The Similarities and Differences in My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover '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'.... [tags: Robert Browning Dramatic Monologues Essays]
1140 words (3.3 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)
- A Comparison of the Dramatic Monologues of Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess by Robert Browning Robert Browning (1812-89) was, with Alfred Lord Tennyson, one of the two most celebrated of Victorian poets. His father was a bank clerk, and Browning educated himself by reading in the family library. He published many verse dramas and dramatic monologues (poems, like My Last Duchess, in which a single character speaks to the reader), notably the collections Men and Women (1855) and Dramatis Personae (1864).... [tags: Papers]
655 words (1.9 pages)
- Controlling Males in Browning's Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess The death of the female beloved is the only way deemed possible by the insecure, possessive male to seize her undivided attention. This beloved woman represents the "reflector and guarantor of male identity. Hence, the male anxiety about the woman's independence for her liberty puts his masculine self-estimation at risk" (Maxwell 29). The jealous and controlling males in Robert Browning's "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess" possess a fervent desire to fix and monopolize their unconstrained female beloveds.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1732 words (4.9 pages)
- A Comparison of My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover Robert Browning was born on May 7, 1812 in Camberwell. The majority of his education came from his father who worked as a bank clerk. In 1828 he enrolled at the university of London, but soon left as he found he was happier learning at his own pace. Robert tried to become a playwright as well as a poet but he was unsuccessful. In 1846 Robert Browning married Elizabeth Barrett who was also a poet. He settled down with her in Florence, but then moved to London when she died in 1861.... [tags: Papers]
476 words (1.4 pages)
- The Worst of Both Worlds, and the Best of Neither
- An Analysis of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio
- Alfred Lord Tennyson's Maud; A Monodrama - Madness or Maud?
- Finding the Modern Artist: Valéry and Stevens on Strickland and Olsen
- The Repetitive, Meditative Style of Lawrence's Birds, Beasts, and Flowers
- Self-Expression in Theodore Roethke's Elegy for Jane