• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Comparison Between "Porphyria's Lover and "My Last Duchess"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A Comparison Between "Porphyria's Lover and "My Last Duchess" Both of these poems are what is know as a dramatic monologue. "My Last Duchess" is about a member of the nobility talking to an ambassador concerning his last wife, who later on in the poem is revealed to have been murdered by the person speaking, who is about to marry his second wife. "Porphyria's Lover" gives an insight into the mind of an exceptionally possessive lover, who kills his lover in order to capture that perfect moment of compassion. "Porphyria's Lover" uses an alternating rhyme scheme during most of the poem except at the end. It is written in the first person and is known as a dramatic monologue. The whole poem is only one stanza long, and each line in the stanza comprises of eight syllables, this helps to give the poem a very regular rhythm; this gives a sense of order and control in the poem which is what Porphyria's lover seeks to gain over Porphyria. Unlike "Porphyria's Lover", "My Last Duchess" uses a regular rhyme scheme using rhyming couplets. ...read more.

Middle

He uses the phrase "As a shut bud holds a bee" to show his now complete power over her. For most of the end part of the poem he tries to justify his reasons for killing her: "The smiling rosy little head, / So glad it has its utmost will" In the last line of the poem he says "God has not said a word!" this is seeking further justification for his acts because he believes that if killing Porphyria was not wholly justified then God would have spoken and he would have been caught out somehow. "My last Duchess" is written in the first person, and the title of the poem refers to the speaker's last wife. The fact that is wife is referred to as a "Duchess" means that the speaker is obviously a member of the nobility. The speaker is extremely arrogant and similar to in "Porphyria's Lover" holds a certain sense of control over the poem. The first sentence tells us that the painting is of his former wife who is now deceased. The sense of control over the poem is extremely prominent in the first few lines. ...read more.

Conclusion

Now that his wife is dead he has gained the complete control over her which he sought over her in life; this is a theme which is also used in "Porphyria's Lover". We then discover that the person he is speaking to is an ambassador for the father of the narrator's next wife. The fact that this ambassador never speaks is another indication to the speaker's power. The theme of power is a theme which is used frequently in the other poem "Porphyria's Lover". In the last few lines the image of Neptune taming a sea horse is one that runs parallel with the speaker's wish to control his wife. In the very last line he says: "Which Claus Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!" This means that the speaker is exceedingly wealthy and gives you the chilling feeling that he may have had many wives before who he had killed for their fathers' money. I feel that "My Last Duchess" is a far superior poem to "Porphyria's Lover". This is because it manages to convey the similar images they both use in a much better way. They both use an image of the narrator's control and superiority, but "My Last Duchess" uses the image to much better effect. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Robert Browning section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Robert Browning essays

  1. A comparison between

    the point in which the Lover murders Porphyria, "In one long yellow string I wound/ Three times her little throat around". This is bold compared to "My Last Duchess". In addition, here the use of enjambment is effective because it gives the reader the image of the yellow hair being

  2. The four poems I have chosen are Hitcher, Education for Leisure, The man he ...

    the victim; it shows that he does not care and shows no worry for the victim for whether he lives or dies after the attack. The tone of voice in Education for Leisure is very arrogant "I breathe out talent" He thinks incredibly highly of himself and he believes that

  1. Examine Browning's use of the dramatic monologue in 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. ...

    Browning's usage of language is a very important factor in engaging and sustaining the interest of the audience. The imagery, particularly in 'Porphyria's Lover' is the main aspect of effectiveness, with both the opening description of the weather, and the picture of Porphyria throughout the poem allowing the audience to

  2. 'How effective an evocation of menace are the dramatic monologues 'My Last Duchess' and ...

    Browning also uses pathetic fallacy to describe the tumultuous storm, which again dramatically foreshadows what will happen in the poem: The rain set early in to-night, The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite, And did its worst to vex the lake:' Lines1-4 What is

  1. English Literature Coursework - My Last Duchess & Porphyria's Lover

    He thinks this because of the affectionate way that she is acting around him. He is surprised when he realises that she worships him. Also this quotation 'for love of her, and all vain' shows that is the turning point make us the read suspect formal intensions and that the

  2. Compare and contrast Robert Browning's dramatic monologues 'My Last Duchess and 'Porphyria's Lover', by ...

    We can appreciate his desire for a trophy wife to complete the package that makes up the Duke in his full stature. In this respect we can understand that he felt driven to despair with her imperfections and that she didn't live up to the expectations he had of her.

  1. How do the poems "Havisham", "The Sisters" and "Porphyria's Lover" present the theme of ...

    Class was considered very important to the Victorians, and this is shown in Tennyson's 'The Sisters', which was published in 1881. Around this era, people were completely obsessed with madness; a trip to the local mad house would be considered normal and a typical family day out.

  2. A Comparison Between 'Porphyria's Lover' And 'The Laboratory'

    The gentleman proceeds to tell the reader how he could be quite sure that her death was painless. He describes it as: As a bud holds a bee I warily opened her lids; again Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work