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"How Do Browning's Poems "My Last Duchess" And "Porphyria's Lover" Compare And Contrast?

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Essay on "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess" "How Do Browning's Poems "My Last Duchess" And "Porphyria's Lover" Compare And Contrast? Robert Browning's two poems "My Last Duchess" And "Porphyria's Lover" are about two men who kill their partners to own them. "My Last Duchess" is about a Duke who tells us about his wife and her behaviour with other men, on the other hand "Porphyria's Lover" is about the mind of an abnormally possessive lover. The males take the dominant roles in both poems. Both poems compare in many ways, the most obvious comparison is that both poems are about men that kill their partners to own them, in "Porphyria's Lover" the lover kills his partner to stop him from being lonely and so no other man can have her, he says, "That moment she was mine, mine, fair Perfectly pure and good:" Both of Browning's poems are also monologues which are written through the male lover's point of view. The main difference is that in "My Last Duchess" the duke kills his wife indirectly by giving orders, the Duke says, "Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together." ...read more.


The Duke also reveals to the reader that he never discussed his jealousy or feelings with his wife, the duke quotes, "and I choose never to stoop." This line also shows that the Duke was an arrogant and bigheaded person. "Porphyria's Lover" is written in a similar type of way in which "My Last Duchess" is written, they are both written the male lovers point of view. The mood at the beginning of "Porphyria's Lover" is miserable, Browning links the lover's emotions with the weather and uses "cold" colours like blue and grey, it is Quoted, ""The rain set early in to-night, The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite, And did its worst to vex the lake" As soon as Porphria enters the room, the mood changes, Browning uses "warm" colours like orange and yellow, the lover says, "I listened with heart fit to break. When glided in Porphyria; straight She shut the cold out and the storm, And kneeled and made the cheerless grate Blaze up, and all the cottage warm." Once Porphyria is there, the lover wants the moment to last forever. ...read more.


The women in their lives get no say as to what happens with their own lives. There are many others contrasts in both poem, like tense, "My Last Duchess" is written in the present tense, but "Porphria's Lover" is written in the past tense apart from the last two lines. "My Last Duchess" is also more descriptive and has longer sentences than "Porphyria's Lover. There is diction of love in both poems, Browning uses diction like heart, loved, passion, darling, happy, perfectly pure and my heart in "Porphyria's Lover" and diction like wonder, passion, joy, heart, breast and half-flush in "My Last Duchess" Browning uses more of authoritive diction more than love diction in "My Last Duchess" Browning uses diction like durst, officious, ranked, approving, speech, masters, disallowed and object. Both poems aren't really shocking to the modern because in the 21st century things like these happen, but in the 19th century, the poems would have been quite shocking to the reader. Overall there are many comparisons and contrasts in both poems, both poems are insights about two possessive lovers, who kill their partners to possess them. The main contrast is the way the partners die, one get killed by their lover, and the other get killed through orders from her lover. ...read more.

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