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

What are the similarities and differences between the two speakers in the poems by Robert Browning: 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'?

Extracts from this document...


What are the similarities and differences between the two speakers in the poems by Robert Browning: 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'? How have pride, power, and love influenced their actions? Pick out uses of language in your answer, and comment on how their language reveals their inner motives. Although the two poems have a fundamental similarity, their tone and uses of language are dramatically different. Both women die in the poems, but the reasons for their death and the way they are killed highlight the differences in the tone of the two poems. In 'Porphyria's Lover', you can gather information just by reading the title. Porphyria is not only the name of the women, but is also a hereditary mental failure. ...read more.


We know that the lover is poor, as he lives in a cottage and Porphyria comes from a wealthy family. " To set its struggling passion free, From pride, and vainer ties dissever." 'Struggling' for money, which is the lover. "From pride and vainer" suggests from a wealth background, which is describing Porphyria. This difference may be the reason he kills her, so that he can keep her forever. The lover feels that "all his love has been in vain" because Porphyria is too proud to marry him. By killing her he ensures that he keeps her forever "that moment she was mine, mine, fair" "and all night long we have not stirred" (line 59). ...read more.


When Porphyria is dead he uses similes that describe her as if she was still alive. "as a shut bud that holds a bee, " this line is stating that her eyes are closed like she is asleep. "I warily oped her lids: again" " laughter her blue eyes without a stain." He then opens her eyelids and she her blue eyes, which look at him peacefully. This is a contrast with the original image portrayed when she was alive. As he has a mixture of hate and love for her, and then he only has love for her when she dies. The last line " And yet God has not said a word!" This line maintains that the lover was not punished by anyone for his sin. And he is guilt free. GCSE English Pre-1900 Poems December 02 ...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 Love Poetry 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 Love Poetry essays

  1. The poems 'Love's Farewell' and 'The Chilterns' are both about relationships, however the moods ...

    The last verse: '- Now if thou would'st, when all have given him over, From death to life thou might'st him yet recover' I think showing that after the relationship between them is over and finished, it might be saved, and brought from death back to life, which I think

  2. Comparison between Porphyria’s Lover and My Last Duchess.

    He refers his last Duchess as a masterpiece of art, almost something he can sell. She is his possession and belonging. By talking about the Duchess's 'earnest glance' in the poem, the Duke is saying that he doesn't want her to encounter with anyone and doesn't want anybody else to encounter with her.

  1. Compare And Contrast "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess"

    The poem is about his last Duchess. It starts off with the Duke talking about her painting on the wall, painted by Fra Pandolf. The audience is then asked by the Duke to look and admire her; 'Looking as if she were alive...That piece of wonder...Will't please you sit and look at her?'

  2. Comparison between 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover'

    'My last Duchess' does not describe the death of his wife and never directly informs us that he killed her, we can only assume that he was involved: 'I gave commands; / Then all smiles stopped together.' The use of the word 'command' clearly highlights the threatening and controlling character

  1. Spenser and Shakespeare similarities and differences.

    Her fair temple - perhaps indicative of her physical temple on her head but could very likely be a means of building worship- that resides deep in his mind. In this temple "her glorious ymage placed is, / on which my thoughts doo day and night attend / lyke sacred priests that never thinke amisse" (5-8).

  2. The art of the dramatic Monologue is to create a character who reveals himself ...

    It also means that he has power over this woman. She is helpless and relies on this man for everything. For example, when he is holding her up, he says: "I propped up her head as before" This pleases him as he is omnipotent in this situation and will be for however long he chooses.

  1. Analyse and discuss the similarities and differences in

    'I chuse never to stoop'). Both men waited for the women to show their love and loyalty first ('When no voice replied...put my arm about her waist...made her smooth white shoulder bare'). Porphyria was seductive, she 'put [his] arm around her waist', made her shoulder 'bare' and was of a

  2. Compare Robert Brownings 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'.

    (Page 8 lines 9-10) In 'Phorphyria's Lover' you learn that he does kill her through possessiveness because it says 'And give herself to me forever' and if you want something to stay with you for ever then that is possessive as he didn't want no one else to have her, not even her husband.

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