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

"Porphyria's Lover" and "The Laboratory"

Extracts from this document...


Natalie Kinsella 11T "Porphyria's Lover" and "The Laboratory" both deal with crimes of passion. Explore ways Browning explains ways of obsessive nature of his character and analysis the effects of literary techniques. "Porphyria's Lover" is a poem about a crime and passion. Porphyria is a young, wealthy girl who seems to have abandoned her family's tradition of choosing wealthy men as lovers. Her lover remains anonymous, this could be because he has murdered her and does not want his name releasing. There is no actual reference as to why he committed this crime we can only make suggestions. Perhaps it was because she would not forsake her affluent companions for him, or because he felt she did not share his love for her. This poem is in the lover's point of view only, so we can not really know how Porphyria is feeling, we can only guess from her body language and her actions mentioned and her actions. It is a Victorian poem and Browning uses sexual references, which is very unusual because sex was a taboo and was not discussed openly in Victorian times. At the beginning of the poem, there is a storm brewing which is mirroring the lover's feelings. He is angry at Porphyria and desperately wants her love "The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the elm tops down for spite," The wind has been personified which is particularly effective because it heightens the anger the lover is feeling and soon realises this. ...read more.


The lover sees Porphyria as a possession and is reluctant to give in to her, making her feel unwanted. It soon becomes an intimate moment were Porphyria says she loves him "Murmuring how she loved me" By murmuring her words Browning has made it sexual and so it conveys a secretive breathless image. The lover is bitter towards her and we find out why; he feels she does not have the strength to separate from her family and friends and resents her wealth "To set its struggling passion free From pride and vainer ties dissever" No matter how she tries she can not let her heart rule, she is too weak to set that passion free, this is what he represents and shows the struggle in their relationship. If Porphyria did reveal her relationship with the lover then she would have been cut off from her family; it was considered a disgrace to fall for someone poor. "And give herself to me for ever" This is what angered him, the fact that she would not give herself to him and sacrifice everything for him. This is the crux of the poem; the lovers obsessive nature for Porphyria. Yet the lover says that passion sometimes would prevail and that his love for her is secondary. The lover is putting his love for Porphyria second even though she has made an effort to come and see him her efforts are futile. ...read more.


Her eyes show no passion, they are sterile, but the lover believes she is supporting him when laughing but could be mocking. He believes that, in death, she is blushing from his kiss which leads us to believe he is delusional and insane. "Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss;" Browning's use of alliteration shows how passionately he kissed her, fuelled with a sexual desire. Browning cleverly uses the verb "propped" to give an ungainly image of Porphyria, lifeless of body, and he wants her, he possesses her. This time it is she that needs him, she was not strong enough before but now it is she that needs him. He is trying to make comparisons from before and now, he wants to go back to that moment and hold it. "I propped her head up as before," We see that, in death, the head is extremely heavy now because he now has to hold it in place; she has now been reduced to a limp corpse. The lover depersonalises her by thinking for her, and now she truly is, his possession. He feels he has won the battle with her wealth family and friends "And I, its love, am gained instead!" He now believes that he has evaded the law and has her forever now, unwilling to share her with anyone else. He feels God is condoning his actions, and will not be punished, he is arrogantly believing he has escaped charges of murder. ...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 ...

    as a familiar name with the reading public, if not yet as a great poet. In 1841 Browning put out Pippa Passes, a loosely structured set of poems that draw from the sensationalism of modern media. This was followed by 1842's Dramatic Lyrics and 1845's Dramatic Romances and Lyrics.

  2. How does Browning in Porphyria's lover and Laboratory convey the workings of a diseased ...

    sweetly" evokes the idea that the protagonist is being sarcastic but at the same time you can feel that she has some control over the victims. This is linked to "Porphyria" as there is no intention of death approaching. As they are making love Porphyrias lover starts to think whether

  1. Comparing the way two different authors portray love and saying which one was the ...

    "In one yellow long string I wound three times her little throat around,/And strangled her." The speaker then projects his feelings on her. He says he is sure that she felt no pain when he knows that he was hurt and in turn he hurt her.

  2. Havisham and Laboratory Coursework

    In stanza one the language used is describing the woman's persona, "Now that I, tying thy glass mask tightly" this is explaining how she will put her mask on to prevent herself being poisoned from the potion she is making.

  1. Discuss the ways in which Browning creates a sense of MALEVOLENCE in 'The Laboratory' ...

    I think this is a good technique that Browning uses because he tries to deceive the reader by thinking nothing will happen. He also sees her as an object and he wants to possess her. This can be seen in the line "And give herself to me forever" and he

  2. Many Men in Victorian Britain Feared Some Women's Desire for Independence. How does Browning ...

    In addition, purity issues are underlined when she tempts the lover to gain his affection. Her actions could be portrayed as being quite sexual in the Victorian period, "she put my arm about her waist, and made her smooth white shoulder bare."

  1. The Laboratory by Robert Browning

    procedure as she observes the formulating of the poison, as a doctor would pensively watch over an operation. "Which is the poison to poison her prithee" this quote tells us that the speaker wants a complex knowledge of the poison and it also shows us that she is showing curiosity to which poison is being selected to commit the murder.

  2. 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.

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