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Compare and contrast two poems, My last duchess and Porpyria's Lover

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Coursework Essay Discuss the Similarities and Differences Between 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' are very similar poems, they are both written by Robert Browning, and also they are both Dramatic Monologues, which is a dramatic poem in one person's view. Yet these two poems are different in many ways. 'Porphyria's Lover' is about a man and women who are in love but can not be together because of their different classes in society, this angers the lover and then suddenly he realises that Porphyria worships him, he feels proud and wants to capture the moment and the only way of doing that is by killing Porphyria. 'My Last Duchess' is about a Duke, who is showing a representative around his mansion whose daughter he wishes to marry, whilst showing the representative his collection of paintings he comes by a painting of his Last Duchess. He describes how she treated him like she treated everyone else and he explained this is how a Duchess should not behave and that he killed her because of this. In this essay I will discuss the similarities and differences between 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess', I will compare four aspects between these poems, Society, Power, Possession and Women. The Woman plays a major role in 'Porphyria's Lover', before she enters the room her Lover is miserable, "It torn the elm tops down from ...read more.


thus we sit together now, and all night long we have not stirred, And yet God has not said a word", This shows, what finally happened to the man, he goes crazy. This also shows us what love, power, control, society and possession can do to a person. I'm going to discuss Society within 'Porphyria's Lover', it is probably what contributes the most to this poem. First of all, Porphyria is Upper class, we can tell this by what she is wearing "Withdrew her dripping cloak and shawl, and laid her spoiled gloves by", her Lover is Lower class, we can tell this because he lives in a cottage "All the cottage warm". Although Porphyria loves and worships her lover, they can not be together; she is not strong enough to leave her class for him, "Too weak, for all her heart's endeavour, to set its struggling passion free from pride, and vainer ties dissever, and give herself to me forever", this means She is too weak to follow her heart, to set her hearts passion free and be with me forever. At one moment he realises she worships him "Porphyria worshipped me", he knows they can't be together because of their different classes in society and wants to capture that moment, and the only way of doing that is by killing her. ...read more.


Lastly, I am going to explain Society in 'My Last Duchess'. Both people in this poem are Upper class. We can tell that the Duke is Upper class because he is the Duke, Duke are usually Rich and wealthy, this is how we can tell the duchess is Upper class because a proud and controlled Duke would not marry a Lower class person, because he does not stoop, "I choose never to stoop", unlike the Upper class Porphyria, she is stooping down to her Lovers level, "stooping, made my cheek lie there". Although, the duchess is Upper class she does not care to stoop from her level, "The white mule she rode with round the terrace", mules are mongrel animals, they are not pure and pedigree and the duchess does not care what the other Upper class people think of her, unlike Porphyria, she will not stay with her love because of their difference in class. Finally, in 'My Last Duchess', the Duke is Upper class, the Duke needs to have a wife, to have a Duchess, "Of mine for dowry will be disallowed; though his fair daughter's self, as I avowed at starting, is my object. Nay, we'll go together down, Sir." this shows the he needs a Duchess, and he will marry her. The duke gets what he wants in Society, unlike the Lover, he can not be with Porphyria and can not do anything about it. 13-01-08 Charlie Hunter, 4C. English. ...read more.

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