Comparing the Use of Dramatic Monologue in My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover

Comparing the Use of Dramatic Monologue in My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover

Length: 689 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Comparing the Use of Dramatic Monologue in My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover


These two poems are both about love and a relationship; however they
are not the type that ends happily ever after. They both represent a
man's love for a woman and reveal faults they have in their
relationships. As in all dramatic monologues the personality of the
narrator is revealed through what he says, the words he uses and his
point of view about events. For instance, in 'My Last Duchess' we see
an example of a man with too much pride from his line 'I choose to
never stoop'. We then see possesiveness and insecurity in 'Porphyria's
Lover' when the protagonist strangles his love because he wanted her
to 'give herself' to him 'for ever'.

In both poems setting is very important in revealing character. The
scene is set in Porphyria's Lover at the beginning with
personification, saying that the wind 'did its worst to vex the lake'.
It also states 'the sullen wind was soon awake' to give a feel of
mystery. These features also seem to represent the character's
feelings towards his love as he is moody, stubborn and unenthusiastic
when she comes in as well as deep in thought. He is 'sullen' as when
she 'called' him 'no voice replied'.

The other poem shows character even in the title 'My Last Duchess'
with its possessive pronoun 'my'. From the repeated use of possessive
pronouns 'my' and 'mine' the reader soon realizes how controlling the
Duke is 'That's my last duchess painted on the wall'. Even though both
the women in the poems loved and cared for both men, they still wound
up dead.

In 'Porphyria's Lover' we find the character is also possessive and
anxious about his lover when he states that she has 'vainer ties'.
Indicating possibly she is already married or committed in another
relationship.

The way the men decide to solve the problems within the relationships
seems to lead to the murder of the women with either 'I strangled her'

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Comparing the Use of Dramatic Monologue in My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover." 123HelpMe.com. 02 Apr 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=119834>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Comparing the Use of Dramatic Monologue in My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover

- Comparing the Use of Dramatic Monologue in My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover These two poems are both about love and a relationship; however they are not the type that ends happily ever after. They both represent a man's love for a woman and reveal faults they have in their relationships. As in all dramatic monologues the personality of the narrator is revealed through what he says, the words he uses and his point of view about events. For instance, in 'My Last Duchess' we see an example of a man with too much pride from his line 'I choose to never stoop'....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
689 words (2 pages)

Analysis Of My Last Duchess And Porphyria 's Lover Essay examples

- 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]

Research Papers
1153 words (3.3 pages)

Porphyrias Lover and My Last Duchess by Robert Browning Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
2228 words (6.4 pages)

The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning Essay

- The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning Consider the range of characterisation in Browning’s dramatic monologues and the poetic methods he employs to portray his speakers. Some are written in rhyming verse, use metaphors, et cetera, but for what reason. What is the writer trying to achieve and how successful is he. Robert Browning (1812-1889) was an English poet noted for his mastery of dramatic monologue. He was born in London, the son of a wealthy clerk at the bank of England, he received scant formal education but had access to his father’s large library of about 6,000 volumes....   [tags: Poetry Dramatic Monologue Form]

Research Papers
2236 words (6.4 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Robert Browning, My Last Duchess]

Research Papers
3771 words (10.8 pages)

A Comparison of the Dramatic Monologues of Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

- 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]

Research Papers
655 words (1.9 pages)

Comparison of ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ Essay

- ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ are both poems by the Victorian poet Robert Browning. In this essay I will compare these two poems to find similarities and differences. Both of these poems can be used read from different points of view and they could also be used to show how society treated women in the Nineteenth Century: as assets, possessions. Both of these poems are what are known as a dramatic monologue as well as being written in the first person. The whole poem is only one stanza long, and each line in the stanza comprises of eight syllables....   [tags: Poetry Analysis, Compare/Contrast]

Research Papers
1236 words (3.5 pages)

Essay Robert Browning and the Power of the Dramatic Monologue Form

- Robert Browning and the Power of the Dramatic Monologue Form The dramatic monologue form, widely used by Victorian poets, allows the writer to engage more directly with his reader by placing him in the role of listener. Robert Browning utilised the form to a famously profound effect, creating a startling aspect to his poetry. In poems such as “Porphyria’s Lover,” and “My Last Duchess,” for example, Browning induces a feeling of intimacy by presenting the reader as the ‘confidant’ to the narrator’s crimes; in “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister,” the reader is more a witness to the narrator’s increasing instability....   [tags: Poetry Robert Browning Dramatic Monologue]

Research Papers
1434 words (4.1 pages)

A Comparison of My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover Essays

- "My Last Duchess" is a poem about an arrogant and extremely powerful Duke who is describing his deceased Duchess. From the word "last" in the title it is implied that the duke has had more than one duchess. In this poem, the Duke is extremely egotistic. He says, "I choose never to stoop." The duchess would look at everyone in the world as being equal no matter what class they are. The duke however cannot do this. He is too worried about his appearance. "Porphyria's Lover" is a poem in which a man describes an evening in which his lover, Porphyria, visits him and he unexpectedly murders her....   [tags: Robert Browning, Comparing, Compare]

Research Papers
1167 words (3.3 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]

Research Papers
2589 words (7.4 pages)

or 'Then all smiles stopped together'.

We see immediately what sort of a character Duke is from his
intriguing attitude towards the picture while he explains about his
'Last Duchess'. He seems to present her as 'just another object in the
room' as we have already seen with his possessive pronouns however he
describes her in great detail and depth. 'Her mantle laps' and the
'Half-flush' that dies along her throat' shows his surprising
attention to her, of course it seems to be her physical beauty he has
observed rather than her inner person.

Porphyria's Lover's main character seems to unravel more steadily,
beginning with the weather characteristics which have already been
stated and moving on to describing Porphyria earlier rather than
revealing details about her lover. There are many sensual and rich
descriptions about her including ''Her smooth white shoulder' and 'her
yellow hair displaced' which shows how attractive Porphyria is and
helping the reader to see how the lover is jealous of her life when
away from him.

Through the words in 'My last Duchess' we can tell that the female is
a warm and passionate character with his affectionate vocabulary to
explain her features before his absent minded murder. 'The white mule
she rode with round the terrace' really increases the effect of her
joyous status though the Duke does not seem to be thoroughly aware of
her magnificent character.

In 'Porphyria's Lover' we know that Porphyria is almost presented as a
goddess who lights up the cottage with her presence from the words
such as 'glided' and 'blaze up' and phrases like 'She shut out the
cold and storm'. It made me realize that the storm was not in the main
character's mind which was what I thought at first, and that it was
actually metaphorically speaking of the great problems with his
relationship. In 'My Last Duchess' the female's qualities are mostly
observed and appreciated but the death this time is due to the main
character's paranoia, mistrust and obsession.

To conclude my thoughts on these dramatic monologues I had a think to
myself what my opinions were on both of the main characters. At first
I thought 'Porphyria's Lover' had some interesting and truthful points
about his desire but then the abrupt change in the poem once he had
strangled her put doubt in my mind as to whether he knew what he was
doing or if he had done the right thing. His obsession was so great
that he could not take the fact Porphyria may have had 'vainer ties'
when perhaps she did not have any at all. He did not want to face
losing her in any way and was deep in thought until he found what he
thought was the only solution.

I thought 'My Last Duchess's' main character was far more critical of
the woman and had found an irritating factor about her which he used
as an excuse to kill the poor Duchess. He had had more wives before
that as obviously stated in the title and I began to wonder whether he
was just using them to create a better appearance for himself and
wondered what had happened to the others. I also found it a shame he
had wasted a life he seemed to know so little about. It was as if he
just thought about her as a beautiful possession like the other works
of art in his home.
Return to 123HelpMe.com