• 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 presentation of the diseased mind in 'Porphyria's Lover' by Robert Browning and 'Too Bad' written by Carol Ann Duffy

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast the presentation of the diseased mind in 'Porphyria's Lover' by Robert Browning and 'Too Bad' written by Carol Ann Duffy Within the poems 'Porphyria's Lover' by Robert Browning and 'Too Bad' by Carol Ann Duffy, are both written from a first person's prospective. This allows us to compare and contrast the presentation of the diseased minds in both poems. The subject of dramatic monologue is also present. Both poems are written two hundred years ago. 'Porphyria's Lover' was introduced in the 19th century. We can understand that around this period of time melodrama was popular. Themes of death, love and passion were highly admired. In 'Porphyria's Lover' Browning reflected society in his poem. Society was divided by social status. The 'upper class' social status is perceived via their wealth and social respect. The 'middle class' main characteristics are their professional standing in the fields, for example doctors and lawyers. The 'working class' are perceived through their laid back behaviour and the underclass who are seen as the outcasts in the whole social system. In contrast to Duffy, she reflects society today. In 'Too Bad' there is violence and gangs. There is a specific use guns. We can confirm that Duffy uses this type of weapon throughout the poem, as it is topical to what is happening in today's society. Violence and gun crimes have risen by 32%. Browning and Duffy both introduce their poems using the device of pathetic fallacy. This sets the tone and mood of the atmosphere. Browning conveys the turbulent state of the lover, by creating a vivid picture of the weather outside the cottage. We could suggest that in both poems the weather is reflective of the lover's and the assassin's state of mind. The weather is used to create an atmosphere and mood within the poems. This gives a more visual image. Within the poems they concern many ideas, but primarily it could be seen to present a 'diseased mind' in different forms. ...read more.


He knew that if he killed Porphyria it would guarantee that she died only loving him. This shows that he was afraid of their relationship ending. Although I can strongly say he is a sick man who's mind is certainly diseased. How can you kill someone in cold blood especially, who you love and admire? I feel that it would be hard to bring your self to commit this crime. Although the assassin could have thought that it was the right thing to do. He could have possibly felt that Porphyria wants to be with him but he knows she would not be able to, as she would not give up her possessions easily. From analysing the line, "made my heart swell and it still grew" suggests he felt that he had succeeded in controlling her. He feels loved, valued and important, which is similar to 'Too Bad' where he also feels he's important, because he's a member of a certain group. The phrase conveys the impression that all is calm, but he's proud for the first time. He has got some power, however he has altermate control concerning life and death. In contrast to 'Too Bad' Duffy extends the notion of a diseased mind as the assassin murders human beings for money. To have to kill, in order to be a hard man and which obviously boosts his ego is seriously involving a diseased mind. He has no personal motive. Also when Duffy writes, "Big Frank Conell hissing get a grip" conveys that the assassin is given orders, which clarifies the idea of himself being unsure about himself, as though he has no opinion or views of his own. Within the alliteration, "that moment she was mine. Mine fair" Browning uses a strong use of repetition. This suggests that controlling and owning her is vital to him. It intensifies how she perceived him as a god, which is almost angelic. ...read more.


I feel that 'Porphyria's Lover' is severely depressed. He feels that the moment they made love will never be better than it is at this moment and through this he justifies killing Porphyria. It could be seen that he kills her to capture this moment. However I find this poem to be extremely disturbing. 'Porphyria's Lover' or should we call him her killer, is a demented man with severe issues to deal with. I can suppose that when he mentions, "God" I don't feel that he thinks he's better than God. He isn't even searching for a specific reason. I doubt that he even believes in God. I think this because sometimes people who are lonely and living in poor conditions always seem to have a negative opinion about God. I think that he is trying to justify what he has done. If he can convince himself that God didn't become angered by his actions, then he can come to a conclusion that what he has done is acceptable. 'Porphyria's Lover' is a strange poem about an insane individual. He does not feel sorry for what he has done and actually even feels that, the outcome is what Porphyria would have desired. We can state that the killer has an obvious sickness. The word 'Porphyria' refers to a diseased mind and we should not over look the fact that she is his disease! Her killed her because he was obsessed and lonely. He wanted control over her that he didn't have at the beginning of the poem. This is insane itself! To kill someone you love and admire greatly because you want control over them implies serious mental problems! He wanted her forever, it was the love that he thought he felt from her at that specific moment to cherish. There is no real evidence they had a solid, serious relationship. The whole poem is told from his point of view and we don't actually see what she thinks. Sabrena Verma Candidate no.0257 Centre no.20932 Highfields ...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. Browning's philosophy of life.

    This faith that man's success would be judged not by achievements only but by his efforts and endeavors too, is voiced fervently in "Rabbi Ben Ezra": "But all, the worlds' coarse thumb And finger failed to plumb, So passed in making up the main account, All instincts immature, All purposes

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

    burn up, bite into its grace - He is sure to remember her dying face. The penultimate verse summarises the completion of the poison, the last verse, however, discusses her fee to the alchemist. Out of gratitude she offers him jewels, gold and a kiss.

  1. Porphyria's Lover by Robert Browning - an Analysis and exploration of the poem and ...

    Porphyria already lies dead when the speaker begins. Just as the nameless speaker seeks to stop time by killing her, so too does this kind of poem seek to freeze the consciousness of an instant. Commentary & Analysis Porphyria's Lover opens with a scene taken straight from the romantic poetry

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

    'Dark green' is used to describe her eyes, but also to show her jealousy and her thirst for revenge. 'Puce curses' describe the coldness of being alone and the pain she suffers. After using these colours, the tone changes and turns to pure 'white veil'.

  1. How does Robert Browning use the dramatic monologue to portray madness in his poems

    "(since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)" The duke tells the emissary that the picture of the Duchess is kept behind a curtain, which no one can open apart from the Duke. A sane being wouldn't keep his beautiful wife's picture hidden, from this we can therefore conclude that the duke is deranged.

  2. Compare four poems where strong dislike for another person is shown. Write about "The ...

    got over her whereas she did not and she held a grudge on him for that, but she is not only angry at him she is angry at all men and she thinks that all men are the same. The other poem that portrays jealousy for another person is Kid by Simon Armitage.

  1. Discuss the importance of religion with reference to at least two poems within the ...

    The second poem in which religion is an evident part is 'Fra Lippo Lippi', published in 1855. It is a dramatic monologue about a Florentine monk, different to the Bishop in many ways, the first that he was an actual person that lived in the fifteenth century.

  2. Compare and Contrast Tennyson's 'Mariana' with Browning's 'Porphyria's Lover'. What is the emotional state ...

    Therefore this is the first difference between the two poems because Mariana's lover is dominant in Tennyson's poem and the dominant character in 'Porphyria's Lover' is female to start. On a similar note, Browning's poem is given from a male perspective whereas Mariana tells her story from a female perspective.

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