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

    The female lover explains the scenery and her emotions in a four-lined structure, with a Rhyming pattern going ABBA. The simplicity of this Rhyming pattern reflects on her own simple mind, and how she is so na�ve that she requires the 'world of men'.

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

    This gives the idea that acts of evil are about to happen. We assume that the man she has feelings for has another girlfriend. We assume he is her ex-partner because of the narrators great feelings, however, we gradually realise there is no evidence of any relationship.

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

    Obviously the moral issue of adultery is met from the beginning. For two people committed in outside relationships to be flirting as Lord Walter's Wife described "you smell a rose through a fence, if two should smell it what matter?"

  2. Comment on Browning's presentation of power relationships between men and women in 'My last ...

    This is nonsensical. The Duke is self-deprecating when he quotes, "Even had you skill in speech-(which I have not)" the Duke might be a bit paranoid or pathologically jealous. He is somewhat an ego-maniac because he only thinks of himself. He also thinks that the Duchess is not worth talking to.

  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 presentation of relationships in My Last Duchess, Porphyrias Lover and ...

    The woman is making poison to kill her partner so it can kill him, as she was jealous. "Grind away, moisten and mush up thy paste/Where they are, what they do: they believe me tears flow" This indicates that she is rushing into making the poison as she wants the

  1. A study of "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess" by Robert Browning

    The Duke simply continues showing his guest around, showing no emotion in the knowledge that he had his Duchess killed. "My Last Duchess" concludes with the Duke and his guest walking on, with sentences such as "together down, sir. Notice Neptune though", showing that the Duke is only concerned with

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

    sister ended up in, 'she went to burning flame', because of the earl. I also believe the Sister believed she also had another reason for revenge; the fact that the earl chose her sister over her made the Sister angry.

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