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

Compare & Contrast 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. Which Poem do you Find More Effective and Why?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare & Contrast 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. Which Poem do you Find More Effective and Why? Robert Browning was writing his poems at the time Queen Victoria was on the throne. He was born in 1812 and died in Venice in 1889. During his life he wrote many poems, two of which were 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess'. These are the poems we are going to be studying. During Browning's lifetime England was very clearly divided into class systems. If you were born into the working class that is where you would stay all your life, you would only associate with people from your class and you would work for people of the higher classes. If you were born into the higher classes you would not contemplate even talking to someone of a lower class than yourself. Also at this time women had no rights, they had no say in anything to do with politics, and they didn't even have the vote. Women were told who to marry in this time period, usually for money rather than love. This is all very ironic as the monarch at the time was a woman. The two poems we are studying - 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' - reflect the unfairness I have pointed out very effectively and for this reason some of Robert Browning's poetry was frowned upon. An example of this is in 'Porphyria's Lover'. The relationship in it is between a man of a low class and a woman of a higher class which creates massive problems in the relationship and ultimately causes the relationship to break down. ...read more.

Middle

was suffering because of their relationship, this could again be interpreted as him trying to convince himself that he did the right thing and it was for the best. He then says, 'Porphyria's love: she guessed not how Her darling one wish would be heard.' Here he is saying how she would never have guessed how he was going to make sure that he would be the only person she was ever going to be with; which is again loving in a twisted way. He sits with her all night in the same position as if he never wants to let the moment go. The last thing he says is, 'And yet God has not said a word!' This is like he has blocked everything out and is not listening to his conscience which would be telling him that he'd done wrong. The man in this poem is quite insane which is quite obvious with the murder he commits, although it was not pre-meditated or planned at all. The second poem we are studying is 'My Last Duchess' again by Robert Browning. In this poem we have an extremely wealthy Duke who is talking to an unknown person; as the poem progresses we find that he is a man that values loyalty and must have control over people. The poem opens with the line, 'That's my last Duchess painted on the wall' This line alone lets you into the Dukes mind set a little, with the word 'last' suggesting that there have been others before and will be more after, this shows that he treats women like disposable possessions and doesn't mind them coming and going. ...read more.

Conclusion

The line lengths in both these poems is quite similar too, they have quite short lines although it isn't restricted to a certain number of syllables. These two things show that Browning is quite an ordered person but not obsessively so. The punctuation works the same way in both poems - it isn't restrictive at all, it is placed where it is needed so allows both poems to flow. The language used in the poems is representative of the person who we are hearing, for example in 'Porphyria's Lover' the language is simple as the man would not have received much education being in the lower classes but in 'My Last Duchess' the Duke, who would have been well educated, uses more complex language. These two poems would have been frowned upon in the times they were written as they can be interpreted as derogatory to the class system at the time. One of them points out how the classes could not mix and the other one shows how the upper class has total control of those below them and can quite literally get away with murder. I believe that the poem 'Porphyria's Lover' is the more effective of the two. I think this because the rhyming scheme is more effective and the ending is more definite. Also the use of the simile when he compares the woman's eyes to 'A shut bud that holds a bee' I think is particularly effective and is my favourite part of both poems. I also think that it makes the problems of the class systems more obvious than 'My Last Duchess'. So in conclusion the poem I think more effective is 'Porphyria's Lover'. 08/05/07 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 Browning's ethical position in "The Statue and the Bust".

    He argues that the supreme purpose of God for man is the formation of his character; and that this can be achieved only through a moral struggle, centring on choice between good and evil.

  2. Porphyria's Lover: A poem of its time?

    One change, the Industrial Revolution, would have shaped this poem. The Industrial Revolution brought many from the country to the cities in search of jobs. As more people flocked to urban areas, they began to live much closer to one another than they had done before and because of this poverty and violence become commonplace.

  1. Compare and contrast Robert Browning's dramatic monologues 'My Last Duchess and 'Porphyria's Lover', by ...

    he believes is his right to have over her therefore he feels that his authority is being undermined. He felt that she didn't pay him enough attention or respect him in a way that he felt he ought to considering his status in society.

  2. Porphyria's Lover/ My Last Duchess comparision. Women and relationships in the19th century

    He never told her about the things that he disliked about her, as he thought that this was stooping below his level: "and I choose Never to stoop" This reveals that the Duke was a very self-centred, arrogant, egotistical man, who preferred to remain distantly dissatisfied, rather than to try to remedy the situation and put his unease at rest.

  1. Compare and contrast similarities and differences of Porphyria's lover and my last Duchess

    One of the first similarities and differences between these two poems are status and control. In both poems the person of higher status is in control of the relationship; in 'Porphyria's Lover' it is Porphyria and in 'My Last Duchess' it is the Duke.

  2. Compare and Contrast Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess

    "She had A heart - how shall I say? - too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate'er She looked on, and her looks went everywhere" In both poems, there are similarities in the narrator's attitudes towards their women. Both narrators show an unnatural possessiveness towards them, they show jealousy, in that they wanted to own all other interests that their women may have.

  1. The four poems I have chosen are Hitcher, Education for Leisure, The man he ...

    then six times with the krooklok in the face" This highlights the fact that he is a very aggressive and violent person. The way that it is described shows that it does not really bother him that someone's life had been lost.

  2. Browning's poems often deal with the complexities of human passion. Discuss "Two In ...

    such intimate unity, and this realism was a shock for many readers of his poetry in the Victorian era. Browning rebelled from the typical content of idyllic Victorian romantic poetry, and liked to include unsuspected twists (for example the disturbing conclusion of "Porphyria's Lover").

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