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

Compare and contrast Browning's portrayal of the protagonists in 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast Browning's portrayal of the protagonists in 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. The Last Duchess and Porphyria are both illustrations of how women who do not conduct themselves in socially acceptable ways, or exhibit behaviour deplorable towards their lovers, are mistreated and eliminated. Although the settings of these dramatic monologues are centuries apart, through reading the 'sub-text' it is possible to identify that several aspects of human nature hardly change at all and to uncover many unpalatable truths about the male protagonists and their treatment of their partners. The impression we are given is that the Duchess was relatively young and inexperienced as the wife of a man holding such rank and responsibility. The Duke states her to be; ' ... too soon made glad, Too easily impressed'. The Duke saw the Duchess's flirtatious behaviour towards other men as unacceptable behaviour for his wife. ...read more.

Middle

Not behaving in a way befitting the Victorian ideal of women would have been cause for some people in her society to think that Porphyria was in part responsible for what happened to her. Throughout both poems, the male protagonists are extremely possessive of their partners. In 'Porphyria's Lover' the male protagonist views his partner as too weak; 'Too set its struggling passion free From pride, and vainer ties dissever'. Here the vainer ties could symbolise Porphyria's family. As she is an upper class woman in the 1860's, it would not have been allowed by her family for her to become in any way romantically attached to someone of an inferior position in social rank. However the Lover has it in mind that she is too weak to leave her family. He wants her to be confined to his structured code and for her to do whatever he expects of her. ...read more.

Conclusion

In his opinion the Duchess had no business to look at other men however she did anyway. This led the Duke to be controlling over her even after her death; '(since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)' The Duke is possessive out of jealousy. He considers that the wife of a Duke should behave in a fitting manner and act just as a duchess should. She is the property of him and be supremely devoted to him and only him. This type of possessiveness is based purely on the fact that she is his wife. Whoever he had as a wife he would be jealous and domineering towards. This serves as a contrast to 'Porphyria's lover' where the prime reason for the Lovers possessiveness stems from his love of her. He can't comprehend being without her and is jealous that she can be with her family but yet not with him. ...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. How does Browning present the idea of love in 'The Laboratory' and 'My Last ...

    Again, this emphasises her madness and obsessive jealousy. Browning connects love with hate in, 'The Laboratory'. He shows one woman's love and fantasy through her hate towards others. This woman never directly displays love, but her passion for death reflects her eagerness to get what she wants.

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

    daughter's self, as I vowed' this shows that the Duke is arrogant and his obsession for money is greater than the love the Duke has for the Count's Daughter. The statue of 'Neptune taming a seahorse' symbolises that the Duke associates himself with Neptune by that he also thinks he

  1. Discuss Robert Browning's Studies of Male Jealousy in the Dramatic Monologues 'Porphyria's Lover' and ...

    However he choice of word order also creates an effect. This is that it puts the reader/listener in suspense by keeping the 'throat' at the end of the line. If it were at the start of the line, the reader/listener would easily realise what would happen.

  2. Compare & Contrast 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. Which Poem do you Find ...

    This could mean that she simply lights a fire or it may be that metaphorically just her presence lights up and adds warmth to the whole cottage. Next she proceeds to take off her wet clothes which is described in detail using such words as 'soiled' and 'dripping' to emphasise

  1. A study of two dramatic monologues, 'Porphyria's Lover' & 'My last Duchess' by Robert ...

    The lover becomes defensive as he states, '...No pain felt she/ I am quite sure she felt no pain', it is as if he is trying to almost justify his actions, this is assured with ' and all night long we have not stirred, / And yet God has not said a word'.

  2. Compare Browning's portrayal of the men and their relationships in 'My Last Duchess'and 'Porphyria's ...

    The Duke is disgusted by Fr� Pandolf, the painter's, comments on the duchess's beauty: 'Paint/Must never hope to reproduce the faint/Half-flush that dies along her throat'. The duke's contempt for the painter is shown when he says 'such stuff' and his diction changes.

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

    Her very name, Porphyria, is polysyllabic and almost soporific - sleep inducing. When the lover describes her, she is described very divinely. For example, she doesn't walk but rather 'glides'. This reveals how infatuated the lover is. A characteristic that is revealed to the reader by Browning is the insecurity of the lover.

  2. How does Browning Illustrate the Relationships he portrays in 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's ...

    When he is talking about how he got the painting done for him by 'Fr� Pandolf' (Fr� in the 19th century was a person very well respected in painting) he is told it looks really life like and he wants to know how 'such a glance came there' and comes

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