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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 8945

Compare the two poems 'Porphyria's lover' and 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning. In which way do they form part of a literary tradition?

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The entrance of Porphyria brought life into the cottage, Browning shows this by telling the reader that Porphyria  shut out  the cold of the storm. It's almost as if she bought life to the cottage and to the narrator also.

The cause of strain in their relationship is that Porphyria comes from a much higher class; she is too proud to leave the life of riches and luxury for the life a poor person, with the narrator in his cottage. The line  From pride, and vainer ties dissever  confirms the point. Porphyria is unwilling to leave her own style of life, in order to be with the narrator. I believe that this decision angers him even more and it possibly played a part in his final decision to murder Porphyria.

When the narrator realises that Porphyria loves him he then makes up his mind that he is going to murder her. He is very pleased and surprised that a wealthy girl like her is in love with someone as poor as himself,  Happy and proud; at last I knew Porphyria worshipped me.   The narrator notes how this made his  heart swell , this was whilst he  debated what to do .

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Throughout the poem we see what a powerful man the Duke is. He murders his wife for no good reason and he has no remorse for what he has done. There is no evidence that his wife was unfaithful to him. Nobody ever questions the Duke and he does what he wants when he pleases. The Duke is some extent unstable although unlike Porphria's lover he is in control of his language and his actions.

Both men in the two poems are similar in the way they handle their women, they both like to be in control but they find it hard to do this, they both murder their lovers because they are unable to possess their lovers one hundred percent.                            

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