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Compare the ways the poet has written about love, bringing out different aspects of the theme. Include an awareness of the times in which the poems are written.

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'Romantic love, physical love, unrequited love, obsessive love' Compare the ways the poet has written about love, bringing out different aspects of the theme. Include an awareness of the times in which the poems are written. 'Porphyria's lover and 'My Last Duchess' are both poems written my Robert Browning. Both poems describe the behaviour of two people who are in love and both poems are narrated from a male's lover point of view. They are both dramatic monologues and in both poems the women are killed. Porphyria's Lover is a poem about a dramatic insight of an abnormally possessive lover. The lover takes extreme action to immortalize his love. He starts by describing the weather which reflects his own mood. The mood is bleak and nature is describing the character's feelings. 'The rain set early in tonight, The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite And did its worst to vex the lake.' The weather is linked to human emotion showing how malicious and spiteful the character is. The atmosphere is cold, raining and there is a storm raging outside a small cottage. Words like 'sullen', 'spite' and 'vex' shows the lover is bad tempered. ...read more.


This shows the madness concealed within the speaker's mind. The majority of the words are monosyllabic which adds mood to the poem. Words that are polysyllabic are quite and unassuming and does not break the tension. 'My Last Duchess' is another dramatic monologue written by Browning. The poem tells the story of Duke, who is looking at a painting of his dead duchess, who was very flirtatious with other men and how it reveals, his feelings towards her. At the beginning of the poem, the Duke of Ferrara is showing a portrait of his latest wife to the Count's emissary. 'That's my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive.' From the Duke's first words we are immediately told that the Duchess is dead. There is also a sense of possessiveness like in 'Porphyria's Lover with the word 'my'. The painting of the wife shows her as a possession and the Duke feels no sense of remorse towards her. In 'Porphyria's Lover' the lover shows strong feelings towards her and wants to preserve her forever but in 'My Last Duchess', the Duke is cold and shows a failure to understand his wife's character. When the Duke married the Duchess he gave her his nine hundred year old name, for her love and respect, which she isn't giving him. ...read more.


He never opened upto his wife because he though that would stooping lower than her level and he had his status to consider. 'E'en then would be some stooping and I choose Never to stoop.' The quote shows how self centered and egotistic the Duke is. Both poems describe the behaviour of people who are in love showing what measures they would take to preserve their lovers. The relationships the characters themselves had with their fictional lovers were completely different. Although Porphyria's lover kills her, there is still a tenderness and emotion shown from the lover in 'Porphyria's Lover which is not shown in 'My Last Duchess'. The lover seems capable of more emotion than the Duke. It was the lover who sat in the cold cottage in the dreary weather, and 'listened with heart fit to break' for Porphyria's return. Whereas the Duke only has the faded memory of his anger and jealousy towards the Duchess. The poem does not serve as a picture of the Dukes emotions. He is just mocking his last wife to the emissary. Throughout the poems irony, rhetorical questions and Euphemisms are used which soften the truth by putting it in an indirect way. For example in Porphyria's Lover: 'A thing to do, and all her hair.' In both poems the main theme is obsessive love which leads to the murders of both lovers. Azmeen Noreen ...read more.

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