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

Compare & Contrast 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. Which Poem do you Find More Effective and Why?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare & Contrast 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. Which Poem do you Find More Effective and Why? Robert Browning was writing his poems at the time Queen Victoria was on the throne. He was born in 1812 and died in Venice in 1889. During his life he wrote many poems, two of which were 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. These are the poems we are going to be studying. During Browning's lifetime England was very clearly divided into class systems. If you were born into the working class that is where you would stay all your life, you would only associate with people from your class and you would work for people of the higher classes. If you were born into the higher classes you would not contemplate even talking to someone of a lower class than yourself. Also at this time women had no rights, they had no say in anything to do with politics, and they didn't even have the vote. Women were told who to marry in this time period, usually for money rather than love. This is all very ironic as the monarch at the time was a woman. The two poems we are studying - 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' - reflect the unfairness I have pointed out very effectively and for this reason some of Robert Browning's poetry was frowned upon. An example of this is in 'Porphyria's Lover'. The relationship in it is between a man of a low class and a woman of a higher class which creates massive problems in the relationship and ultimately causes the relationship to break down. ...read more.

Middle

was suffering because of their relationship, this could again be interpreted as him trying to convince himself that he did the right thing and it was for the best. He then says, 'Porphyria's love: she guessed not how Her darling one wish would be heard.' Here he is saying how she would never have guessed how he was going to make sure that he would be the only person she was ever going to be with; which is again loving in a twisted way. He sits with her all night in the same position as if he never wants to let the moment go. The last thing he says is, 'And yet God has not said a word!' This is like he has blocked everything out and is not listening to his conscience which would be telling him that he'd done wrong. The man in this poem is quite insane which is quite obvious with the murder he commits, although it was not pre-meditated or planned at all. The second poem we are studying is 'My Last Duchess' again by Robert Browning. In this poem we have an extremely wealthy Duke who is talking to an unknown person; as the poem progresses we find that he is a man that values loyalty and must have control over people. The poem opens with the line, 'That's my last Duchess painted on the wall' This line alone lets you into the Dukes mind set a little, with the word 'last' suggesting that there have been others before and will be more after, this shows that he treats women like disposable possessions and doesn't mind them coming and going. ...read more.

Conclusion

The line lengths in both these poems is quite similar too, they have quite short lines although it isn't restricted to a certain number of syllables. These two things show that Browning is quite an ordered person but not obsessively so. The punctuation works the same way in both poems - it isn't restrictive at all, it is placed where it is needed so allows both poems to flow. The language used in the poems is representative of the person who we are hearing, for example in 'Porphyria's Lover' the language is simple as the man would not have received much education being in the lower classes but in 'My Last Duchess' the Duke, who would have been well educated, uses more complex language. These two poems would have been frowned upon in the times they were written as they can be interpreted as derogatory to the class system at the time. One of them points out how the classes could not mix and the other one shows how the upper class has total control of those below them and can quite literally get away with murder. I believe that the poem 'Porphyria's Lover' is the more effective of the two. I think this because the rhyming scheme is more effective and the ending is more definite. Also the use of the simile when he compares the woman's eyes to 'A shut bud that holds a bee' I think is particularly effective and is my favourite part of both poems. I also think that it makes the problems of the class systems more obvious than 'My Last Duchess'. So in conclusion the poem I think more effective is 'Porphyria's Lover'. 08/05/07 1 ...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. Examine Browning's use of the dramatic monologue in 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. ...

    pausing to discover if his listener is attentive, by continually referring to him as, "Oh, sir" and such like. This poem is also simply the story behind a piece of art, shown by the Duke leading the emissary from one painting to another, and after having finished the story of his "last duchess", asking, "Will't please you rise?"

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

    the Book, a historical tragedy based on a group of documents Browning had found at an Italian bookseller's. The work appeared in installments from 1868 to 1869, and Browning societies soon sprang up all over England, Browning soared to fame that he enjoyed until his death in 1889.

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

    The way the 'marish-mosses crept' is like a nightmare for Mariana and heavy sounds of 'clustered' and 'crept' are weary suggesting she is too weary. She is so desperate for her lover to come that she goes into deep thoughts about the tree she can see.

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

    His blunt assertions of superiority are frequent throughout the poem, but the most poignant assertion of superiority is: '...as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody's gift. (Line 32-34). This line lends the Duke an impression of an egocentric man who places himself above other men.

  1. Porphyria's Lover: A poem of its time?

    Browning was writing for a Victorian society, well known for their prudery. However, beneath this prudery lay moral decay as murders, violence and scandal became ever more common. Whilst people still clung to their religious beliefs, many were also beginning to look to science for their answers.

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

    and, even though he decides that he wants to make it a moment that will last forever, he decides to plays around with her corpse by that he move her body parts and her clothes which is shown here; 'I warily oped her lids: again Laugh'd the blue eyes without a stain'.

  1. Compare and contrast Robert Browning's dramatic monologues 'My Last Duchess and 'Porphyria's Lover', by ...

    However they also pose stark contrasts to one another. The Duke chooses 'never to stoop' and is overly conscious of class and social etiquette. The Lover on the other hand is a total contrast to this. Instead of trying to be magnificent and powerful, like the Duke, the lover is

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

    "She thanked men, - good! But thanked Somehow - I know not how - as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody's gift." The Duke justifies his actions by thinking his wife did not deserve her position as Duchess, or live up to the responsibilities that her noble stance required.

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