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By comparing the two poems 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess', explore how Browning deals worth the theme of jealousy.

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By Joey English Essay By comparing the two poems 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess', explore how Browning deals worth the theme of jealousy. Jealousy is a theme that occurs quite regularly in Browning's poems. This was particularly noticed in both of the poems 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' where in both cases, the male protagonists were jealous of the extra attention that their lovers received from other admirers. When studying both poems, the reader can create in their mind a vivid picture of both the female characters. However, because the male protagonists gave their view on their lovers, the reader is only given details about the male protagonists' feelings, not about his features or qualities. Because of this, it needs to be taken into account that the reader is assessing the situation from only one particular point of view. In both of the poems 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' the reader is told that the male protagonist has murdered their lover as a result of jealousy. However, the murders are entirely different. In 'Porphyria's Lover' the relationship between Porphyria and her lover is very positive and the reader can sense a strong bond between the two characters. Lines 29-34 show how strong the bond is between Porphyria and her lover. 'For love of her and all in vain: So, she was come through wind and rain. ...read more.


This is shown on lines 32-34, 'Somehow- I know not how- as if she ranked my gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name with anybody's gift', where the male protagonist explains how he feels disappointed by the fact that he has made this woman the Duchess and has given her a nine-hundred-year-old name, yet she seems to rank this wonderful title with the gifts she receives from other men. Later in the poem, Browning describes how the Duke has also noticed that the Duchess smiles at other men and as he could not handle this sort of 'embarrassment' the Duke explains how he dealt with the situation. 'I gave commands; then all smiles stopped together'. If the reader did not study this poem, this short line would be missed and it is correct to assume that because of the insignificance this line seems to have towards the poem, it shows how the murder did not affect the Duke at all. This is the complete opposite to the murder in Porphyria' Lover as in Porphyria's lover, the murder of Porphyria has a great build up and is not at all unnoticeable. In both 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess', the female character is murdered as a result of the male protagonists' feelings. However, is it purely the male protagonists' feelings that contribute to the female characters being murdered or could the female characters (the victims) ...read more.


Because of this, the audience could assume that this theme may relate to the poet, Browning, in some way. This could mean that Browning may have experienced a situation in the past relating to this theme, or that Browning generally has a jealous side to his personality. This could be assumed because in general, it appears that writers and poets find it easier to write about past experiences. Overall, I think that the jealousy that both of the male protagonists experience, is just a result of their loved one's actions. For this reason it would be correct for the reader to assume, that both of the female characters are partly to blame for the male protagonists' actions. This is because the female characters were not focusing on their actual partners' feelings, and were just pleasing themselves, regardless of how the situation was affecting their partner, or loved one. I think that Browning has dealt with the theme of jealousy in great depth and has shown the male protagonists' feelings very thoroughly, making it possible for the readers to even sympathise with the male protagonists. Because of the way in which the theme of jealousy is portrayed, the reader can have a great understanding of the emotions the male protagonists are feeling throughout the poems. This makes the poem and the consequences of the female character's actions, a lot easier to understand. ...read more.

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