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

Discuss Browning's presentation of women in the two poems "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss Browning's presentation of women in the two poems. "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess" are two poems, which were written by the Victorian poet, Robert Browning. In both of these two poems Browning presents women in similar ways. "My Last Duchess" is a monologue in which a man, the "Duke", explains to a servant that he has had his wife murdered, this shows how the Duke is powerful and can take someone else's life in his own hands. He explains that his wife was killed because of the way he felt she was disrespecting him, "My gift of a nine-hundred-year-old name" this displays how the Duke perceives himself as a higher status. However "Porphyria's Lover" is about a man who "strangled" his wife because she wanted to end their relationship for she came from a richer background, "To 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". ...read more.

Middle

The theme of death is used in "My last Duchess". Declaring death on another person is the ultimate control that someone can have, "I gave command" this show how much power the Duke has got as he can get someone to take another persons life. Browning is explaining how poorly women were being treated in his era. This theme of death is also used in "Porphyria's Lover", as Porphyria is killed by her lover, "I strangled her". The lover is mentally ill, as he does not think that he has done anything wrong, "God has not said a word". Once the lover has killed Porphyria, he sits with the dead body, "thus we sit together now" as he feel that they can now be together, this shows how he is mentally unbalanced and thinks that what he has done is for love, "its love". In both of the poems the, both of the men describe the women as there possessions. In, "My Last Duchess" the Duke shows how he feels that women are only like objects to him. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is seen in a different way than, "My Last Duchess". The lover is mentally ill and thinks he is doing the right thing, "and I, its love, am gained instead" he thinks that Porphyria wants to be with him and this is the only way it can be achieve. Even after Porphyria is dead the lover keeps the body, "I propped her head up as before" this is a insane thing to do and uses her body like a manikin. Browning wrote the two poems because there is a moral to them. Browning explains in his two poems how women were ill-treated in his time. Browning disagrees with the attitudes towards women. He explains that women were looked upon as the weaker sex and that they were treated like the lover class. This may just mean that men look down on women, since in, "Porphyria's Lover" Porphyria has a well-bred name and the lover always stays anonymous. This shows how women were portrayed as unstable, but this was not so, Browning shows how the two male lovers in the poems are the unstable ones why result to murder through jealousy2. ...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. Compare the presentation of relationships in My Last Duchess, Porphyrias Lover and ...

    This is when each stanza tells a story of its own but has continued from the previous stanza. This is especially used in The Laboratory as it reminisce of the steps in a scientific experiment. It is showing the steps of brewing up a potion.

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

    However also, if this doesn't show enough madness, he actually thinks she wants to be killed, ' no pain she felt', and so murders her. Out of 'Havisham', 'The Sisters' and 'Porphyria's Lover', I believe, that the lover is

  1. Robert Browning is described as 'a love poet who was acutely aware of how ...

    The stanzas rhyme ABABA, although, because the sentence breaks do not necessarily coincide with line breaks, the rhyme undergoes a certain weakening: 'I would I could adopt your will, See with your eyes, and set my heart Beating by yours, and drink my fill At your soul's springs, -your part my part In life, for good and ill.'

  2. Compare my last duchess and Porhyria's lover considering in particular how the 2 central ...

    We can see the atmosphere liven and therefore it is possible to say that Porphyria has a positive effect on her Lover. It also seems that without Porphyria, the lover miserable. As the poem progresses, Porphyria seduces her lover. However, it seems that Porphyria will not always be with him.

  1. How does Browning show the balance of power between men and women in 'My ...

    The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite, And did its worst to vex the lake' The narrator of the poem describes his mood the way he describes the weather with words like 'sullen', 'spite', and 'vex'.

  2. Compare the ways in which the poems present murderous relationships and their consequences In ...

    This grew; I gave commands; Then all the smiles stopped together. There she stands as if alive'. This is a particularly interesting part of the poem as it gives away that the Duke had the Duchess killed and because of the amount of pauses Browning used at that part, it

  1. Using style and form, how do the Brownings evoke reader sympathy and moral judgement ...

    This indicates that in society he is not worthy of her, or that she enjoys her other life more than being with him. Sympathy is evoked by her preference to her "vainer ties" than him. He is portrayed as an outsider as Porphyria "was come through wind and rain" to reach his house.

  2. How does Browning present the idea of love in 'The Laboratory' and 'My Last ...

    He indirectly still has power over her by means of the painting. If he doesn't want to look at her, the Duke can just draw the curtain to block her out. I believe this is similar by the way he behaved with her while she was alive.

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