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What methods does Browning use to tell the story in 'Porphyria's Lover'?

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Introduction

What methods does browning use to tell the poem 'Porphyria's Lover'? The poem 'Porphyria's Lover' written by Robert Browning appeared in 1836 and is one of the earliest and most shocking poems from the collection of dramatic monologues known as 'madhouse cells'. This poem is about a psychotic character who strangles his lover Porphyria with her own hair and manages to kill her when she comes to visit him. The visit took place on a stormy night when Porphyria comes in, out of a storm and proceeds to make a fire bringing warmth and happiness to the cottage. Browning narrates the poem from the lovers point of view but makes the character Porphyria more powerful and dominant through the first part of the poem. The title chosen by Robert Browning informs the reader that the poem is about an obsessive love between two main characters, as the poem goes along we learn that a major theme is the power struggle between the two characters. The common themes used in the poem are: love, madness and power. Robert Browning uses techniques such as pathetic fallacy to set the scene and portray the mood of the lover and his characteristics, the character of Porphyria's Lover is disturbingly portrayed through the words he uses. ...read more.

Middle

times, ?the dripping cloak and shawl, and laid her soiled gloves by? This proves that she is from a wealthy family and also shows her power and control over her lover. She lightens up the whole the cottage and makes it warm, the reader can see that she has been her before many times as she knew how to bring cheer and the mood changes from gloomy to bright even though the narrator is not speaking as he is too wrapped up in his own thoughts, he seems like an excited child as his tone changes as he describes his affection for her. The structure of the poem is set as one long stanza without any breaks this builds up the tension as the pace becomes quicker it is effective because it creates excitement for the reader. The poet also uses the ABABB form which shows inconsistency and may reflect the relationship of the characters. Browning also uses anaphora to tell the poem as he begins most lines with the word 'and' this is evident in the middle of the poem,' And made her smooth white shoulder bare, And all her yellow hair displaced, And, stooping, made my cheek lie there.'' As the poem continues Porphyria offers her lover her bare shoulder, the narrator tells us he does not speak to her as he listens ...read more.

Conclusion

After this chilling event the narrator sits with her corpse all night. He then toys with it, opening the eyes and propping the body up against his side. When he opened the eyes of Porphyria he said that they laughed, ''Laughed the blue eyes without a stain'' This shows that Browning presented her as being alive after her death. The line, ''Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss'' show that Porphyria's Lover is crazy and dangerously passionate, it also shows his abnormal characteristics. As he sits with the corpse, he thinks that maybe what he did was right and approved by God and that's why God hasn't punished him yet. He believes that now she is dead she is more richer as she has his love and undivided attention, Browning ends the poem by making the lover consider the fact that God hasn't acted to punish him so therefore he must have done something good he may have even done her a favor as she may have been a fallen women, as he sits with her corpse he believes he has done the right thing by trying to justify himself and make himself believe that God is on his side, this also links to the his idea of Porphyria worshiping him earlier in the poem which emphasizes in his abnormal and insane behavior. ...read more.

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