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

Compare and contrast ‘Human Interest’ and ‘Porphyria’s Lover’.

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast 'Human Interest' and 'Porphyria's Lover'. In this essay, I will be examining two poems - 'Porphyria's Lover', by Robert Browning, and 'Human Interest', by Carol Ann Duffy. The poems, which are both dramatic monologues, have many similarities, but they also have many differences. 'Porphyria's Lover' first appeared in January 1836, whereas 'Human Interest' was written in the late 1900's. The murderers in 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'Human Interest' have some similarities, as well as many differences. I will examine the similarities first. The first similarity is that both murderers are almost certainly male, although there is more evidence in 'Human Interest' than in 'Porphyria's Lover'. I believe that both are male because in ''Human Interest'' the murderer talks about "the other bloke", implying that this persona is male, and in 'Porphyria's Lover' the killer strangles Porphyria. This suggests a degree of strength not commanded by nineteenth-century women. Also, homosexuality was not acceptable then, although this may go towards an alternative explanation as to why the two lovers can only meet in secret. I also know that both murderers loved their victims; the text in ''Human Interest'' clearly states "I loved her...my baby", and Porphyria's lover describes his "...love of her...". ...read more.


In 'Porphyria's Lover', the murderer kills Porphyria because she is "...too weak..." to free her heart's passion "...from pride, and vainer ties...". In other words, he commits murder because Porphyria has not got the willpower to leave her higher-class family to marry her one true love (the murderer), so he kills her to prevent her marrying someone else. Similarly, the murderer in 'Human Interest' kills his partner to prevent her from going off with another man. I will now compare and contrast the aftermath of the murders, paying particular attention to how the murderers feel, and what happens next. In 'Porphyria's Lover', the aftermath of the murder is portrayed very well, unlike 'Human Interest', which is summed up very quickly. We see that Porphyria's lover does something very unusual after he's carefully strangled her - he remains with her. Instead of panicking, he "...warily oped her lids...", and laughs at her unblemished "...blue eyes...". So, we see that he is happy, and we can also note that he is proud that he has not been discovered - "...and I, it's love, am gained instead ... yet God has not said a word". These are very strange feelings for someone who has just committed a terrible crime, and it suggests that he feels no guilt. ...read more.


informal, colloquial language is used. This gives the impression that the persona no longer cares, and can't even be bothered to speak properly. The text is also in a confessional style, which is typical of Duffy. 'Porphyria's Lover', on the other hand, is quite a formal style, and the persona is simply telling the story, without any obvious guilt. In 'Porphyria's Lover', Browning has used exaggeration for effect by having the persona say that he wound Porphyria's hair "...three times her little throat around...". I believe this to be exaggerated because, if it were true, Porphyria's hair would have to be about four feet long, which is ridiculous. There is no exaggeration in 'Human Interest', but there is a lot of isotropy - the persona repeatedly emphasised the point that he loved his victim. This is demonstrated in quotes like "I loved her", "my baby", and "...she wasn't a tart...". He also emphasises his angry reaction to her infidelity - "...thirty seconds to complete", "I stabbed", "she stank of deceit". Finally, both poets use enjambment, albeit irregularly. This shows long and deep, but slightly erratic, thought at times by both personas. After reviewing 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'Human Interest', I have found that they are very similar in many ways, although they do have their differences. Both poems are based on the theme of murder for love, and murder resulting from jealousy. Andrew Mugleston 27/04/2007 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. Compare and Contrast Poetry Education for Leisure by Carol Ann Duffy (written 1986) and ...

    "Education for Leisure" is a free verse poem and there is no definite rhyme scheme to it, although there a few instances of internal rhyme: "...today I am going to play God. It is an ordinary day, a sort of grey..."

  2. comparing porphyria's lover and the sisters

    "raving" that is just before she is going to kill the Earl. This shows how obsessed with the Earl she is because she progressively gets more obsessed to the point of killing him. The sister had strong feelings towards the Earl.

  1. How do the poems "Havisham", "The Sisters" and "Porphyria's Lover" present the theme of ...

    emotional where Havisham reveals how she reacted to her depressing past 'cawing nooooo', 'trembling'. At this point, the readers feel sorry for her as she is showing hatred towards herself. The tone in the next verse shows passion and Havisham's lustful fantasies 'lost body over me', of what could have happened on her wedding night.

  2. "Stealing" by Carol Ann Duffy and "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning, will be compared ...

    they could be together forever, and he believes himself that what he did was not wrong because God has not given any signs: "And give herself to me for ever... ...her darling one wish would be heard... ...And yet God has not said a word."

  1. Browning's porphyria's lover

    Browning's poems, as Isobel Armstrong has aptly remarked, "often have a double movement of seriousness and mockery or puzzlement" (283). In addition to this, Armstrong has commented that poems such as "Pophryia's Lover" seem to have been "written deliberately to challenge, shock and test the responses of the unthinking reader" (288).

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

    In the Duke's mind the young Duchess smiled at everything and anything, and everyone. He was sure "she had a heart too easily made glad." The very fact that she could smile at a servant as she would have smiled at him just drove him mad with rage.

  1. Human Interest and Porphyria's Lover Essay.

    loved her, but the because this less educated man's vocabulary is less fluent it makes him sound less like he loves his lover, as he sounds more vicious and aggressive, but possibly more mentally stable (although, still unstable) than the other murderer.

  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