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

Compare and contrast the poems 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast the poems 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover' By Robert Browning These poems by Robert Browning were written in the Victorian era. The Victorians from the outlook seemed to live on high standards and rules, but underneath they craved for scandal and gossip. Robert Browning gave this to them through his poems. They were filled with adultery, passion, sexual tension and murder. 'Porphyria's Lover' starts off with pathetic falacy which reflects the narrators mood, he does this by using personification which also sets the scene. "Sullen wind was soon awake," "Did it's worst to vex the lake" Although outside the weather is described as being harsh and fierce, Porphyria brings a comforting warmth to the house. "Made the cheerless grate blaze up, and all the cottage warm." The start of 'My Last Duchess' doesn't initially set the scene like in 'Porphyria's lover' but it introduces the main theme of the poem, the Dukes last Duchess. "That's my last Duchess on the wall, looking as if she were alive." ...read more.

Middle

He positions her as she was before only now he is in control of her. " I propped her head up as before, only, this time my shoulder bore her head. "He sits with her for the rest of the night and has come to the conclusion that he has done the right thing. "And all night long we have not stirred, and yet God has not said a word. " We learn about the Duke in 'My Last Duchess' by what he says and how he says it. Through him, we also learn about his wife, the last Duchess. We work out something of how their relationship stood, what his expectations were, how she responded, etc. we learn a great deal about his character by hearing how he thought and felt about her. The Duke is manipulative, filled with family pride. "My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name. Similarly to Porphyria's lover - a feeling of ownership over even the memory of his deceased wife. "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall." ...read more.

Conclusion

She sees that as more as a gift than her husband's name. "My gift of a nine-hundred-year-old name." I do not believe she loved her husband. "She smiled, no doubt, whene'er I passed her; but who passed without much the same smile." In contrast Porphyria loved her lover. In the end the Duchesses want for independence eventually lead to her death. The Duke saw her as I trophy bt did she see him as anything more than a safe and easy life? The scene in 'Porphyria's Lover' makes the house feel safe and warm from the storm, she comes in and shuts the out the cold and starts a fire, giving a warm glow to the small cottage. But it is a false security because no one could prepare for what would happen inside. The scene in 'My Last Duchess' feels very uptight, it is in a very wealthy house, looking at prestigious artists work. It has a verry different feel to 'Porphyria's lover' In conclusion, because the Victorians craved for such scandal these poems were written. They both contain affairs, women trying to overpower men, murder and above all, the idea that the Victorians regimented lives were not always as they seemed. By Kate Lloyd ...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 do the poems "Havisham", "The Sisters" and "Porphyria's Lover" present the theme of ...

    crime, he truly believes in his mind that he and Porphyria had come to this conclusion together 'I am quite sure she felt no pain'. This insanity continues to the end of the poem, where he thinks that now both him and dead Porphyria are happy now, as her 'wish'

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

    come to the lover otherwise; God would have stepped in and stopped it or killed him off by now.

  1. Porphyria's Lover/ My Last Duchess comparision. Women and relationships in the19th century

    (It also implies that he may be looking for the next duchess.) The Duke describes how people are surprised by her seductive, passionate glance, and he gets very jealous when people admire the painting. He decides to hide the portrait behind some curtains and he acts like he still owns her in the way that he would own an object.

  2. Compare and contrast similarities and differences of Porphyria's lover and my last Duchess

    Porphyria's lover starts by describing the setting around the cottage of her lover: "It tore the elm-tops down for spite, And did its worst to vex the lake". The use of the word 'vex' indicates trouble and danger which prepares the reader for what is to come.

  1. Compare and Contrast Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess

    By contrast, the Duke in 'My Last Duchess' is shown as a cold-hearted man who despised his late wife's lust for life. He wanted her respect, though all he could see was her pleasure from all around her. "She had A heart - how shall I say?

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

    The hitcher is the person he wishes to be. He envies the hitcher, the poem conveys the sense of want and longing to change and be someone different. It leads the audience to think that there is a good and bad side to everyone and it is up to you of whom you want to be.

  1. How does Browning present the idea of love in 'The Laboratory' and 'My Last ...

    Even though there is old-fashioned speech in the poem, 'twas', the style of speaking in 'My Last Duchess' is informal to make it more natural and convincing. The first stanza also has the repetition of 'My Last Duchess'. When the poem is read aloud, the title would be read first

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

    We then see the thoughts of the man for the first time where he says, 'I listened with heart fit to break' which suggests that he has been waiting a long time for something or someone and that is all he has been concentrating on, this also shows that he is worried about what is coming.

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