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“My Last Duchess” and "Porphria's Lover"

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Robert Browning In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting two Robert browning poems entitled "My Last Duchess" and "Porphria's Lover". These poems are both similar and different to/from each other. They are both dramatic monologues and are both concentrated around the death of a woman. The men both behave similarly even though they are different social classes. They are both responsible for the death of the woman but in "Porphria's Lover" the man does it himself "Three times her little throat around, And strangled her". This also demonstrates his social class compared to the man in "My last Duchess" because he has to do it himself whereas the man in "My last Duchess" arranges for it to happen. "I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together". Both men are paranoid about the woman in "Porphria's Lover" the man says "and vainer ties dissever". ...read more.


"And thus we sit together now" the man in "Porphria's Lover" says this after he kills the woman. The plain fact that the man in "My last Duchess" is telling someone what he has done shows he does not regret it. The men also have many differences. The man in "My last Duchess" is upper class whereas the man in "Porphria's Lover" is lower class. The man in "Porphria's Lover" kills for love. On the other hand the man in "My last Duchess" kills out of embarrassment or jealousy" I know not how-as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody's gift". Due to his social stature the man in "Porphria's Lover" will probably be hung for the murder or kill himself for fear of being hung. ...read more.


In "Porphria's Lover" there is a dramatic opening with the weather, which puts emotion into the poem straight from beginning. "The rain set early in tonight, The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm tops down for spite". This weather reflects the mans dark and dismal mood. Whereas "My last Duchess" has little to no emotion and because of the punctuation sounds more like a conversation. "Porphria's Lover" is set in a cottage "and all the cottage warm". Whereas I assume "My last Duchess" is set in the duke's mansion that is in Italy "Ferrara". "My last Duchess" has rhyming couplets but they are hidden due to the punctuation while in "Porphria's Lover" there is a five line rhyme system "waist", "bare", "displaced", "there", "hair". Out of the two poems ("Porphria's Lover" and "My last Duchess") I think I prefer "Porphria's Lover" because the emotion in it makes it a very powerful poem. By Antony Booth ...read more.

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