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My Last Duchess and Porphyrias Lover. Robert Browning wrote the two poems, My Last Duchess and Porphyrias 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. Both poems reveal an account in which the admirer kills the object of his love. This paper will compare and contrast the following characteristics: the setting, the speaker, the mood and tone, and theme found My Last Duchess and Porphyrias Lover. One speaker, the Duke of Ferrara, tells the story of My Last Duchess.
The story occurs prior to a meeting between the Count, his emissary, and other dignitaries. Duke Ferrara is speaking privately with the Counts emissary in a room located upstairs within the residence. The Duke is describing a painting of his last wife. The room is stately, well furnished, and decorated with several artistic items. Similarly, a speaker whose identity is unknown tells the poem Porphyrias Lover. In a dramatic monologue, each speaker relates the details of his poem.
Unlike My Last Duchess, the poem, Porphyrias Lover, has a very different setting. The events that transpire in Porphyrias Lover happen in a secluded cottage on a stormy night. The speaker is alone in the cottage. The strong wind and the unceasing rain are heard and felt inside the dwelling.
The cottage is located near a lake and is surrounded by a dense forest. The storyteller has a special visitor on this dreary evening. His lover, Porphyria, enters the house to escape the cold temperature and stormy weather. In the fireplace, she lights a fire that causes the room to become warm and comfortable.
Both poems have similar themes and both speakers describe a particular character found in both stories. Both poems have a beautiful woman as its main character and their themes describe the relationship between two lovers. In My Last Duchess and Porphyrias Lover, Robert Browning conveys two distinct portraits depicting the love shared between two people. The qualities of beauty, selfishness, and jealousy appear in both poems. In both works, the author explores the hidden influence death has upon the relationship shared by two lovers.
In My Last Duchess, the speaker describes a specific painting to the reader. It is a portrait of the Dukes late wife. The speaker directs the readers attention to the Duchess passionate responses given not only to the Duke, but also to many other men who admire her beauty. The artist conveys this ladys charming and flirtatious personality. The Duchess had many admirers that competed for her attention. Her rare beauty and flirtatious manner attracted many admirers.
Her facial features express her passion and gratitude towards the men that competed for her attention. She had a teasing and playful quality, which she used to make the Duke jealous of the men attracted to her beauty. The Duke spoke communicated his displeasure about her improper behavior. She continued to smile and attract the attention of other men.
Finally, Duke Ferrara stopped the smiles forever by killing the Duchess. The Duke concludes his conversation with the Counts emissary and reveals his desire to marry the Counts daughter. As the leave together to join the people downstairs, the speaker is affected by the life-like features of the painting. He shows little emotion or guilt about his immoral conduct. Leaving the room, the duke comments on another artistic sculpture. In the poem Porphyrias Lover, the speaker relates a frightening description about the overwhelming love he has for Porphyria.
He sits quietly in the cottage listening to the rain while he waits his lovers arrival. The unnamed speaker conveys Porphyrias enchanting and sensuous beauty. The speaker secretly watches Porphyria remove her wet clothing and places the wet garments near the warm fire to dry out. He notices her long yellow hair fall over her shoulders. She calls to her lover and receives no response.
She then wraps her lovers arm around her waist. She exposes her smooth white shoulder covered by her tangled hair. Porphyria softly tells the speaker of the deep love she has for him. However, the speaker is aware of her passionate attempt to conceal her pride and vanity. Her beauty, pride, and conceit prevent Porphyria from completely loving the speaker. The unnamed speaker realizes that Porphyria cannot make a true commitment to a serious relationship of love.
He is overcome by his passion and desire to be her only lover. As the couple embraces one another, the speaker is unable to restrain overwhelming desire to make Porphyria his only lover. He has terrible thoughts about how he could make her devoted only to him. He suddenly realizes what he must do to gain her total devotion and love. Debating what action he should take, the speaker gazes into her eyes and believes that Porphyria loves only him.
In an instant, she belonged only to him. She was totaling devoted to the speaker. At that particular moment, her love was perfect, pure, and good. Suddenly, the speaker understands what he must do in order to gain Porphyrias faithful love. He takes her long yellow hair and repeatedly wraps it around her little throat.
He strangles Porphyria until she dies. The speaker states that she felt no pain. He is certain that her death was painless. He opens her eyelids and again sees the laughter reflected in her blue eyes. As he loosened her hair from around her neck, Porphyrias cheek brightly blushes as he kisses her passionately. They couple continue to hug each other with Porphyrias head resting on her lovers shoulder.
The speaker notices a smile upon her little rosy face and believes she is blissfully consumed by his grotesque love. The speaker and the lifeless Porphyria sit together all night. The speaker makes an unexpected declaration in the finale verse of the poem. The speaker concludes the poem believes there are no witnesses who observe his bizarre behavior. The mysterious speaker feels no shame or guilt regarding his wicked and selfish conduct. He boasts that even God did not speak a word against him.
Robert Browning reveals rare insights and an unusual interpretation concerning the concept of love. The two romantic relationships described in My Last Duchess and Porphyrias Lover is comparable in certain areas, however each poem reveals contrasting ideas about the concept of love. Both poems are dramatic monologues spoken by a particular individual. Both poems reveal the complex nature of the love shared between a man and a woman. The aspects of jealousy, vanity, pride, obsessive desire, beauty, and flirtatious behavior are contained in both poems.
The desire to completely possess another persons love and affection are related through a dramatic monologue. Robert Browning compares the love Duke Ferrara has for his Duchess with the obsession of Porphyrias lover. The Dukes has a jealous, stubborn, and irrational love for his Duchess. Likewise, Porphyrias is the recipient of a sinister, uncontrolled, and destructive love. Her mysterious admirer is overwhelmed by Porphyrias supreme beauty and her sensual mannerisms. His jealousy and obsession for Porphyria, compels him to act upon his depraved thoughts that will secure her total love and devotion.
Porphyria and the Duchess experience similar outcomes that result in the death of both women.
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