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

Jealousy and obsessive love is a theme in Porphyria's Lover and the Duchess of Malfi. Analyse the poem closely making appropriate links to the Duchess Of Malfi.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jealousy and obsessive love is a theme in Porphyria's Lover and the Duchess of Malfi. Analyse the poem closely making appropriate links to the Duchess Of Malfi. The theme of jealousy and obsessive love naturally becomes apparent through the opening lines of the poem, as Browning uses the pathetic fallacy of the 'wind' which 'tore the elm-tops down for spite' to personify human jealousy. The verbs associated with the 'wind' are 'awake', 'tore', and 'vex', as Browning juxtaposes nature with human qualities to show how they are similar - they are both capable of becoming destructive over what they possess. The wind destroys the 'elm-tops', but Porphyria's lover goes to the extent of murder. This is enhanced by the deliberate emotional breakthrough that Browning makes in his dramatic monologue, when he describes how he 'listened with heart fir to break'. ...read more.

Middle

The lover is powerless because he has to wait for Porphyria to come to him. Browning uses the repetition of 'And' at the beginning of each line to emphasize how Porphyria's actions were ongoing and never ending, as if though she was always going to be on a higher level than her lover. When she 'called' for him, 'no voice replied' and here Browning establishes the lover's depressed and low state of mind. But passion blinds the lover to all sense of reality and he starts a chain of thinking that leads him to believe the Porphyria is truly in love with him. He thinks that she came to him to save herself from her destiny and family. "All in vain' shows how the lover has very little reality left in his mind. His obsessiveness becomes clear when he describes how he wanted her to 'give herself to' him 'forever'. ...read more.

Conclusion

The lover strangles her to preserve her innocence and the alliteration in 'Perfectly pure', enhances that moment of bliss the lover endures. Browning's idealization of the death-in-bliss is a definite indication of the lover's true obsessivesness over his love for Porphyrio. Moreover he 'propped her head up as before', in an attempt to regain control. Similarly in the 'Duchess of Malfi' Ferdinand attempts to regain control by murdering the Duchess. Therefore both death and sustaining power are key parallels between the poem and the Duchess of Malfi, which illustrate how jealousy and obsessive love will only become destructive to the self. However Browning adopts a simple and flippant tone when he describes 'No pain felt she'. The lover shows no indication of remorse over his actions and on this level Browning shows that he has no conscience, especially when he denies his guilt by ending on the note that 'God has not said a word!'. ...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. Porphyria's Lover by Robert Browning - an Analysis and exploration of the poem and ...

    Although Elizabeth Barrett Browning's work still receives much scholarly attention, Robert Browning's subtle, detail-oriented poems have proven attractive to modern critics, and he has now replaced his wife as the Browning of favour. Browning lived and wrote during a time of major societal and intellectual upheaval, and his poems reflect this world.

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

    'Porphyria worshipped me', which is surprising because the only time she comes to see him is when she wants to have sex, and I can tell this as she wastes no time in seducing him 'made her smooth white shoulder bare'.

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

    The Duke in 'My Last Duchess' begins to mention the name of the artist of the painting. In most cases the name of the artist would not be really significant; this man obviously thinks little of his dead wife except that she was a possession.

  2. Compare & Contrast 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. Which Poem do you Find ...

    He then says how she looks as if 'she were alive' which is simply stating the fact that the picture has captured the Duchess perfectly. He also says that he calls the painting 'a wonder, now' the now suggests that he didn't like it when it was first painted, almost

  1. Compare and Contrast Tennyson's 'Mariana' with Browning's 'Porphyria's Lover'. What is the emotional state ...

    Like in Mariana, the outset of 'Porphyria's Lover' is also gloomy. 'The sullen wind' is pathetic fallacy from Browning which 'tore the elm-tops'. Porphyria's lover is angry, nervous and spiteful at the start. He is sullen like the weather. 'To vex the lake' shows his anger towards his lover.

  2. 'How effective an evocation of menace are the dramatic monologues 'My Last Duchess' and ...

    The fact that he keeps the picture behind closed curtains and deems it a privilege to view the Duke's Last Duchess illustrates his possessiveness and greed: '...since none puts by/The curtain I have drawn for you, but I' Lines 9-10.

  1. Porphyria's Lover

    Commentary "Porphyria's Lover" opens with a scene taken straight from the Romantic poetry of the earlier nineteenth century. While a storm rages outdoors, giving a demonstration of nature at its most sublime, the speaker sits in a cozy cottage. This is the picture of rural simplicity--a cottage by a lake, a rosy-cheeked girl, a roaring fire.

  2. Compare and contrast the presentation of the diseased mind in 'Porphyria's Lover' by Robert ...

    However in 'Too Bad' there is a constant repetition of the word, "we" which suggests that the assassin does not have as much control. Although it depicts that he wants to be part of a unit, this shows he's insecure, lacking confidence.

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