Porphyria’s Lover

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Porphyria’s Lover The finest woks of Browning endeavor to explain the mechanics of human psychology. The motions of love, hate, passion, instinct, violence, desire, poverty, violence, and sex and sensuousness are raised from the dead in his poetry with a striking virility and some are even introduced with a remarkable brilliance. Thanks to the changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution, so many people living in such close quarters, poverty, violence, and sex became part of everyday life. The absence of family and community ties meant newfound personal independence; it also meant the loss of a social safety net. The mid-nineteenth century also saw the rapid growth of newspapers, which functioned not as the current-events journals of today but as scandal sheets, filled with stories of violence and carnality. Hurrying pedestrians, bustling shops, and brand-new goods filled the streets, and individuals had to take in millions of separate perceptions a minute. The resulting over stimulation led, according to many theorists, to a sort of numbness. Notably many writers now felt that in order to provoke an emotional reaction they had to compete with the turmoils and excitements of everyday life had to shock their audience in ever more novel and sensational ways. Thus violence also became a sort of aesthetic choice for many creative people. Browning can be charged of also employing violence as a tool for evoking aesthetic brilliance but this is only at the superficial level. Because when it comes to the use of violence in his poems we find them as close to reality as reality itself. His poems show us the human passions in flesh and blood and he was not going to be one who denied the presence of violence as a potent human passion or one who presented it as something out of proportion just to create sensation. His incorporation of violence with other human passions was real just and fully understandable. Many of Browning's more disturbing poems, including "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess," reflect this notion. In his poem “Porphyria’s Lover” we find Browning at his best. The poem is a love poem… but has a lot more to offer than just the bright sunny side of love. For Browning love was a passion, which had its destructive side as well. But this did not in anyway lessen or tarnish its reputation as being the purest emotion. In fact the destruction... ... middle of paper ... ...God has not said a word!" (59-60). Browning presents the viewpoint of a speaker educated in the divine workings of an ultimate force, yet the long-stifled yearnings of an unjustly socialized man color the intensity of the situation. In Browning's dramatic monologue, God's hand of judgment shifts away from the murderer himself and onto the culture that first inhibited the speaker's rational thought. Browning's characterization of a nameless speaker in "Porphyria's Lover" forms an unexpectedly conclusive response towards the sensual numbness of Victorian society. While the suggested insanity of the speaker would traditionally indicate the narrator's unreliability in a moral sense, Browning constructs the isolated scene such that the lover's emotional internalization is not only understandable, but divinely justified. The musings and actions of this unreliable narrator serve to illustrate the consequence of society's confines in a shockingly violent release. Through naturally flowing language, this poetic account of burning emotion within a setting of tranquil domesticity presents the all-consuming power of human sensuality in its bleakest attempt to override social structures.
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