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My coursework study has introduced me to the works of Robert Browning including "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess".

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Introduction

Aaron Parry 10CR Poetry Coursework My coursework study has introduced me to the works of Robert Browning including "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess" and I have also looked closely at the lyrics of some very famous compositions of recent years including "Delilah" written and performed by Tom Jones. "97 Bonnie And Clyde" written and performed by Eminem and "Your All I Need" written by Nikki Sixx and performed by Motley Crue. All the works I have chosen although very different in style also have similarities, each contain a perception of love, violence and also murder. I have chosen "Porphyria's Lover" as my main focus. The narrator tells the story of how Porphyria comes to him one stormy night. She flirts with him and he feels a great passion towards her although he says nothing. He knows that although she loves him her Victorian sensibilities would stop her from submitting to him. He decides to strangle her and keep her his forever. He then sits with her head resting on his shoulder reflecting on what he has done and feeling no guilt whatsoever. ...read more.

Middle

"At last she sat down by my side And called me. When no voice replied, She put my arm about my waist," Porphyria craves attention and continues to do this by trying to be sexy and seductive. "And made her smooth white shoulder bare, And all her yellow hair displaced, And stooping, made my cheek lie there, And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair," He knows for all her efforts, she will not give herself to him. "Too weak for all her heart's endeavour, To set its struggling passion free" "A sudden thought of one so pale For love of her, and all in vain:" Her Victorian sensibilities prevented her from being anything more than flirtatious, we start to realise that the narrator is not shy but does not respond to her because he thinks its pointless. This is entirely different to "Delilah" who was unfaithful to her lover and humiliated him. Causing anger not frustration as in this poem. The narrator begins to realise how much Porphyria loves him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Like Porphyria's lover, The Duke of Ferrara is portrayed as arrogant, possessive and dominant. But the Duchess' crime was that she did not live solely for the Dukes pleasure. The Duke also keeps silent about his feelings, as does Porphyria's Lover but it is his pride that will not allow him to admit he knows that the Duchess is unfaithful. Although this poem rhymes in part it has no regular pattern. At the beginning the narrator seemed shy and Porphyria seemed to be trying to help him. As the poem progresses I realised that the narrator's silence was for a more sinister reason and Porphyria was in fact the helpless one. Browning cleverly uses silence as a kind of weapon against Porphyria in this poem disguising the lover's true thoughts. I think that this is a powerful poem that has been cleverly written to make us think about love, death and obsession, the theme Browning has used is not as relevant today as it was in Victorian times. As Porphyria could on no account give herself to her lover then which is unlike today where she has a choice. Browning has achieved his aim of creating a strong and thought provoking poem. ...read more.

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