Compare the dramatic monologues 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning.

Authors Avatar

Compare the dramatic monologues ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ by Robert Browning.

Robert Browning (1812-89) was, with Alfred Lord Tennyson, one of the two most celebrated of Victorian poets. His father was a bank clerk, and Browning educated himself by reading in the family library. He published many verse dramas and dramatic monologues (poems, like My Last Duchess, in which a single character speaks to the reader), notably the collections Men and Women (1855) and Dramatis Personae (1864). His greatest success came in 1868 with The Ring and the Book - a verse narrative in twelve books, spoken by a range of different characters. In her lifetime his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61) was more famous. She was a semi-invalid, following an accident in her teens. In 1846 she and Robert ran away from her father (who tried to control her) and eloped to Italy

Two of Robert Browning’s dramatic monologues are ‘Porphyria's Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ in both of these monologues are from the view of a partner in a relationship where they are jealous of their lovers and them being with other men. In ‘Porphyria’s Lover’, the speaker is Porphyria’s lover, he is talking to himself, and in ‘My Last Duchess’ the Duke is the speaker and he is talking to a servant.

Join now!

The Duke is a very proud man, being a Duke he is higher than working class, and his family goes back for generations ‘My gift of nine-hundred-years old name’ he thinks that the duchess should have been very proud to be marrying in to his family.

Porphyria’s Lover is a very possessive, love poems often express the wish that time would stand still, Porphyria’s lover is no exception to this, ‘one wish would be heard, and thus we sit together now’ he wants the moment of love to last forever. He is very jealous of Porphyria’s ‘contacts’. ...

This is a preview of the whole essay