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How do Robert Browning in Porphyrias Lover and Carol Ann Duffy in Human Interest present the emotions of love and jealousy?

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Introduction

How do Robert Browning in 'Porphyria's Lover' and Carol Ann Duffy in 'Human Interest' present the emotions of love and jealousy? Porphyria's Lover by Robert Browning was written in 1836. It is a well-known poem that is told as a dramatic monologue, by a man that we can only assume is "Porphyria's Lover". The poem is certainly suspenseful right up until we hear he has, to our surprise, killed her and in a very dramatic, extreme and heartless way. It is a romantic poem about a man and a woman that were forced to keep their relationship a secret because they were from different backgrounds and classes. Although written 150 years after Porphyria's Lover, Human Interest by Carol Ann Duffy contains similarities to the poem. Human Interest, like Porphyria's Lover, is about a man who kills the woman he loved because of jealousy. Human Interest is much more informal and this helps to create a picture of who is telling the story and what sort of man he is. ...read more.

Middle

In Human Interest it also seems that the woman may have been cheating and have broken this man's heart, yet the narrator seems to realise that the women may not have cheated on him or purposely break his heart. We see this when he says 'My baby'. She wasn't a tart / or nothing.' The full stop after 'my baby' and the use of caesura in this phrase shows how the narrator could have been reminiscing or having flashbacks and realising that she may not have been unfaithful after all. The effect of the poet's choice to make him a murderer could be interpreted as hidden dramatic irony, the man who killed his girlfriend says he "wouldn't harm a fly" and so he may be unable to understand why he actually did this. Although sharing many similarities, the two poems are very different in their own right. The background and personality of the two writers help to make them individual and personal to them. Porphyria's Lover was written in 1836 when sexual morality was very different to modern times. ...read more.

Conclusion

The line in the poem 'Her darling one wish would be heard' makes us wonder if this was perhaps an act of euthanasia, and that "Porphyria's Lover" was only guilty of helping his beloved find peace and rest at last. Particularly as he mentions 'And yet God has not said a word!' as though he is expecting God to send praise to him for what he has done. And this shows the contrast between the two characters and possibly the two authors. Overall I would say that I prefer Porphyria's Lover out of the two because I liked the use of language skills and other technical abilities that helped make it so effective in creating an atmosphere. I would not say that I dislike Human Interest, however I found that it was too informal; yet the informality of the poem was suited to its style. I also felt that it lacked detail and that the short sentences didn't always fit what the character was trying to portray. Porphyria's Lover was longer, yet it had more sophistication and class, the lines flowed and the original idea was more creative. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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