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eng poetry

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Compare the ways in which the poets present their stories in 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' Both of the poems I have chosen to compare are written by Robert Browning. In ways these poems are both different and similar to each other. Two of the main similarities are that both of these poems are concentrated around the death of a woman and they're both dramatic monologues. A dramatic monologue is a poem in which a single speaker who is no the poet utters a poem at a critical moment. However the way in which he presents both stories has quite a few differences. My Last Duchess first appeared in 1842, consisting of 56 lines, the poem is written in rhyming couplets meaning that the end of every pair of 2 lines rhymes. The rhyming couplet give it a rigid structure but the punctuation makes it quite flexible-iambic pentameter. The basic story in this poem is that the narrator (supposed duke of Ferrara) is giving a guest a tour of his home, when he comes across a picture of his late wife, he says about how she always flirted then explains how he had her killed so that now she would only smile for him. ...read more.


This in the end leads to both of the male narrators killing their wives; in Porphyria's lover he kills her himself 'In one yellow string I wound three times her little throat around, and strangled her' and in My Last Duchess her orders for her death 'I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together.' Although both character in one way or another cause the death of their lovers, their reasoning for it is quite different. In Porphyria's Lover the reason for killing Porphyria is because he wanted to preserve that perfect moment forever 'At last I knew Porphyria worshipped me.', at that moment everything was perfect and he didn't want to lose it so he killed her to preserve that. But in My Last Duchess he had his wife killed in order to stop his jealousy and his worries that she'd go with another man, this way he can keep her behind the curtains, which only he can open, meaning that she'll only be able to smile at him and no other man. ...read more.


Whereas in Porphyria's Lover, when talking about Porphyria, Browning never really uses much imagery in describing her, instead he just uses lots of describing words. Also in My Last Duchess Browning used the structure of the sentences to help to show us what kind of emotions were going through the narrators head, for example when it gets to around line 21-22 when he starts talking about the Duchess and how she finds joy in everything, and the sentence structure here just starts really going all over the place 'She had a heart---how shall I say?---too soon made glad.' Which just lets at now that he find it hard discussing her, and in a way hard to understand her. This sentence goes like this again later on in the poem lines 31-32, 35-36 and 39. However in Porphyria's Lover Browning displays the narrators feelings in a different way be using pathetic fallacy. Pathetic fallacy is when nature is used in help with portraying feelings or emotions e.g. Sunshine-happiness, dark clouds-anger. In Porphyria's Lover Browning uses this a number of times, for example at the beginning of the poem before Porphyria had entered the house, it was raining outside. English coursework Kate Wylie 11.S ...read more.

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