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Compare the dramatic monologues 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning.

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Compare the dramatic monologues 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning. Robert Browning (1812-89) was, with Alfred Lord Tennyson, one of the two most celebrated of Victorian poets. His father was a bank clerk, and Browning educated himself by reading in the family library. He published many verse dramas and dramatic monologues (poems, like My Last Duchess, in which a single character speaks to the reader), notably the collections Men and Women (1855) and Dramatis Personae (1864). His greatest success came in 1868 with The Ring and the Book - a verse narrative in twelve books, spoken by a range of different characters. In her lifetime his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61) was more famous. She was a semi-invalid, following an accident in her teens. In 1846 she and Robert ran away from her father (who tried to control her) and eloped to Italy Two of Robert Browning's dramatic monologues are 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' in both of these monologues are from the view of a partner in a relationship where they are jealous of their lovers and them being with other men. ...read more.


The Duchess appears to be a very happy person, which finds joy in the tiniest things. We gain the impression that she is a well bread woman, who takes pride in her appearance. The duke is very proud of her appearance he describes all her beauty as he talks. The duke believes she is easily pleased 'too soon made glad' and the pleasing her made not always be coming from him, this makes him very jealous. The first we hear about Porphyria's appearance is when she has just entered from being in the rain, the lover is describing every thing as it happened in great detail, about her hair and how it laid, etc. Porphyira worshiped her lover at that point and he wanted it to stay that way, he loved her too much for things to change, for her to find someone else to worship, he had to act at that time in order to keep her to him self. ...read more.


He explains why he has named the painter, and that the portrait is kept behind a curtain, which only he can draw back. Duke tries to imagine what the painter said that would cause the 'joy into the duchesses cheek'. The duke does not object to the artist's showing such courtesy. But he thinks his wife should be more serious and not so easily impressed. The poem's ending recalls its beginning as the duke points out another treasure. A bronze sculpture of Neptune taming a sea horse. This is like the start of the poem. But it is also quite unlike it, Fr� Pandolf's masterpiece is a portrait of a real person, to whom the duke was married, yet she is never named, only identified by her relation to the duke. The poem is in one long stanza because mono means one, and a monologue is a long conversation. It is also so it is an outburst, because the speaker had not thought about his action just acted with out thinking, the poet wanted the reader to realise this. ...read more.

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