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

"Porphyria's lover" by Robert Browning And "Not To Blame" by Joni Mitchell

Extracts from this document...


Joanna Burton 10s 20th February 2004 Examining Poetry "Porphyria's lover" by Robert Browning And "Not To Blame" by Joni Mitchell To begin with, these two pieces of poetry are about two different women who have suffered terrible violence from their male partners. This essay compares the two poems identifying their similarities and differences as they are both written from a different point of view. 'Porphyria's Lover' is written from a male's point of view, Robert Browning whereas 'Not To Blame' is written from a female's point of view, Joni Mitchell. Further more 'Porphyria's Lover' has been written in Victorian times when issues like these were seen differently compared with 'Not To Blame', as this is a modern poem. Firstly the connotations of the titles are very interesting. In 'Porphyria's Lover' the title can suggest two impressions as it could be referring to the female's partner in the poem or someone she could possibly be having an affair with. Likewise in 'Not To Blame' the title demonstrates two connotations as it suggests that the female in the poem was 'not to blame' or that the male was 'not to blame'. In effect it makes you more aware of what the poem is about and lets you decide on what you want to believe the title is trying to tell you. ...read more.


This is shown when he says, ' I warily opened her lids; again, Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.' This encourages us to think that the male character is slightly delusional, as it does not occur to him that Porphyria is dead. He calmly carries on like before looking into her eyes as if she was still alive. This is shocking to the reader; it creates disbelief making the reader want to read on. Although at the end of the poem he seems to show sense of what he has done. This is demonstrated when he says, 'And all night long we have not stirred, And yet God has not said a word.' This shows us that he understands what he has done but the connotations of God not saying a word suggest that the male character has not been punished and therefore can see no wrong in what he has done. In 'Not To Blame' the reason behind the abuse seems to be because of the male's jealousy towards the female character. We can see this when it says, 'His mother had the frailty You despise And the looks You love to drive to suicide' One interpretation could be that she received more attention than he did and that made him want to be the more dominant one within the relationship. ...read more.


Similarly there is also irony in 'Porphyria's Lover' as the male character kills Porthyria and yet holds love for her. He seems to think that it is the only way for them to stay together. A good example of this is when, 'And I, its love am gained instead! Porthyria's love: she guessed not how Her darling one wish would be heard, And thus we sit together now,' This creates mystery as the writer is trying to confuse the reader. The male character portrays his calmness and seems to believe he has won. It is also suggesting that Porthyria wanted to be with him and therefore will be forever. Overall in comparison the poems are fairly alike in their structure and they both use poetic devices to illustrate the poem. Likewise they both make good use of imagery and connotations. Although they are written in different times which is clearly shown as 'Not To Blame' is fighting for the females rights and 'Porphyria's Lover' is in some was defending the male's view on things. 'Porphyria's Lover' is different to 'Not To Blame', as it seems to be more dramatic whereas in 'Not To Blame' emphasis is more recognisable in the meaning of the poem. In conclusion these two poems hold a few similarities as well as differences. 5 1 ...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. Discuss Robert Browning's Studies of Male

    This can also mean that she is trying to shut out the wind and the cold out of her life but fails as the poem progresses. When the door is shut, the narrator feels better. These four lines are a very good opening to what I think is an excellently

  2. A Comparison Between 'Porphyria's Lover' And 'The Laboratory'

    'I propped her head up as before Only this time my shoulder bore Her head, which droops upon it's still: The smiling rosy little head, So glad it had its utmost will, That all it scorned at once is fled, And I its love am gained instead.'

  1. The Life of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    Browning Society was founded in 1881 as an indication of the poets status as a sage and celebrity.

  2. How do Tennyson and Browning establish a distinct sense of character in their poetry?

    This brings out her character. There is not much imagery throughout this poem. This shows that the woman knows exactly what she wants and how she intends to get it. She shows this by everything she says being literal. Although all three of these poems are written by the same poet, the characters are created in different ways.

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

    She thought she loved him so therefore she never gave it away willingly. We even learn that the woman was innocent and na�ve in line 3. Line 4 shows the reader that the man persuaded her to sleep with him.

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

    is showing negligence as he's going to commit murder, he should know to keep his identity low. This shows he's inexperienced. We could suggest that he could have had a dull life and now this, "job" is a form of excitement and indulgence.

  1. How do male authors portray their female characters?

    The personification of the wind makes us feel more apprehensive of the narrator because we sense that the wind is not normal because it is evil. Symbolism and imagery The Symbolism and imagery in the poem also give us a more vivid account and, they give us a few hints that something bad is going to happen.

  2. Porphyria's Lover by Robert Browning - an Analysis and exploration of the poem and ...

    of the earlier nineteenth century, this is perhaps the only conventional area of the poem, although this is used to great effect to almost mislead the reader, the poem is not in any other way similar to the romantic poetry of the 19th Century.

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