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

Explore the various and surprising ways in which Browning deals with the theme of love in the poems "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria's Lover"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Pre 1914 Poetry GCSE Literature Coursework Explore the various and surprising ways in which Browning deals with the theme of live in the poems "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria's Lover" The stereotypical representation of love in a love poem is a feeling of mixed emotions, cheerful feelings that generally brighten up your day. A love poem should typically have a genuine romance that concludes with a jubilant ending. However this is only the portrayed idea of love, as love can also be represented in others ways, take for example My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover. In these poems, we are shown a different type of love, a possessive love where the male in each wants the woman to himself. The shocking thing about this type of love is the fact that the possessiveness reaches a point to where the lover kills his partner just to keep her to himself. Both 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover' are written in the style of a dramatic monologue, where there is only one person (the protagonist) speaking throughout. Also both poems are written in continuous enjambment, this gives the effect of a conversation in 'My Last Duchess', even though it is only the Duke speaking, while the servant listens, however in Porphyria's Lover, it gives the effect of a recalled memory from the lover of Porphyria. The main character and protagonist of 'My Last Duchess', is the Duke. ...read more.

Middle

This is a surprising way to deal with the theme of love within a poem, as 'My Last Duchess' strays away from the typical representation of love we expect to see in a love poem and replaces it with a possessive love. The Duchess was almost like an accessory to the Duke, more of an object then a living being. 'Porphyria's Lover' also has a possessive lover, whom is similar in many ways to the Duke in 'My Last Duchess'. The main connection between Porphyria's Lover and the Duke is their possessiveness and control over women. However, the difference between the two is that the Duke wants his partner to behave how he wants her to, a more controlling love, whereas the lover of Porphyria wants to keep a moment perfectly preserved and shows a less controlling love, but rather a caring love. Our expectations at the start of 'Porphyria's Lover' are ones of a happy relationship, with signs that Porphyria may be doing something that she should not i.e. cheating on a husband. The line "I listened with heart fit to break" shows that this is an arranged meeting between Porphyria and her lover, which hints at the idea of a forbidden relationship. However, with that said it sets the scene as being bad weather conditions, "The rain ser early in to-night", "the sullen wind was soon awake...and did its worst to vex the lake", which more often then not leads to tragedy in most cases. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although she has a husband already, she displays her love to her lover as if he was her only love, however he does not return her affection in the way we would expect him to, instead he just admires "she sat down by my side and called me. When no voice replied, she put my arm about her waist." He shows his affection in his own way by preserving the moment forever, "in one long yellow string I wound three times her little throat around, and strangled her" a poetic death. My expectation of love poetry is that it creates a joyous feeling, one that I can relate to, and has a happy tone, with a happy conclusion. However, 'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover' do not meet these clich´┐Ż examples of what love is within a love poem. Instead, they display a much more surprising variation of love, one that presents the aspect of loving an object, or possessive love, rather than the love of another. Another presentation of a contrasting love is represented within 'Porphyria's Lover'. The idea of killing the person you love, goes against the expectations of love, however killing your love just to preserve that special moment forever, is a surprising, and very controversial way of presenting love within a love poem. However, it is this controversial love is what made Browning's poems so appealing to his readers in Victorian times. The idea of a forbidden and possessive love strays away from the expected path of a love poem, something that was very engaging to the audience of Browning's time. ?? ?? ?? ?? Robert Hanson THA ...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. Marked by a teacher

    "My Last Duchess" and "To His Coy Mistress" Compare the presentation of the men ...

    4 star(s)

    It is much quicker paced with only three sentences that shows he is getting frustrated. Also the use of 'now' shows us his hurry, as if he is starting to run out of persuasive ideas, and the ones he has used has not worked.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    I am contrasting the poems, "My Last Duchess" and "On the Departure Platform". Both ...

    3 star(s)

    The Dukes attitude towards the Duchess is very hostile. "The depth and passion of its earnest glance." This tells the reader that the Duke was jealous of the Duchess and she must have had many admirers. We also hear of how the Duke was very suspicious of his wife, "Her husbands presence only, called that spot."

  1. Love is best! (Love Among the Ruins) Does Browning persuade you that this is ...

    In a dramatic monologue, the speaker unknowingly reveals his personality through his speech. In this poem, the audience listens to a conversation between the Duke and a nameless envoy that are making the final arrangements for the Duke's second wedding.

  2. Free essay

    Compaere and contast how love is represented

    An industrial dock yard is not a nice place to be and most probably not many people go there. 'Towards the frightening scum on the water', because this setting is so unromantic it implies that the sleazy boy is only after one thing.

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

    This may be because both the characters are psychotic. In 'Porphyria's Lover', the killing is very direct; 'In one yellow string I wound Three times her little throat around, And strangled her. No pain felt she; I am quite sure she felt no pain.'

  2. The two poems I have chosen on the theme of love are 'Porphyria's Lover' ...

    You can tell this because "Vex" is the old word for disturb. Another example of archaic language is "nor could tonight's gay feast restrain", the word gay now has a totally different meaning compared to what it used to mean.

  1. The two poems that I am comparing are Porphyria's Lover and My Last Duchess, ...

    Now the positions are reversed. The man is dominant; he kisses her passionately and places her head upon his shoulder. He is initiating the action, controlling what happens. He describes her cheek as: "Blushed bright beneath the burning kiss:" And refers to her "smiling, rosy little head", these make him sound like a powerful man with a submissive girl.

  2. Investigate the Poems that best portrays 'Love' and 'Loss'

    This innocence is equally similar to the poem 'First Love', by John Clare. When the poet says, "blood rushed to my face" he is describing how embarrassed he feels. Clare feels anxious and he is unsure of his feelings at this point.

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