Poetry Essay an Essay Comparing Porphyrias Lover, With My Last Duchess.

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Poetry Essay

An essay comparing Porphyrias Lover, with My Last Duchess.

Looking at the titles, you can tell immediately that both of the poems are from a mans point of view, but about a woman. They are not about Porphyria or the Duchess like the title might suggest initially, they are about the mans feelings for them. You get the impression from Porphyrias Lover that her lover is an object, which she can just reject; only her lover and nothing else, there are no more feelings in that. It also sounds like she is having an affair - which she is as it becomes more obvious later on in the poem

In a way this is similar to My Last Duchess - there's not much feeling in that either, you get the impression that he collects the duchesses like they are object of desire, and just gets bored of them and in a way throws them out - My LAST Duchess - sounds as if he has had a lot of them, and she was nothing more special compared to the others.

Both the poets set the scene - in porphyrias lover he describes the weather - and it makes it sound really mysterious and different - 'the rain set early tonight, the sullen wind was soon awake, it tore the elm tops down for spite', which gives you an urge to carry on reading the poem to see what the rest of it is like. In My Last Duchess, he describes the painting - 'that's my last duchess painted on the wall, looking as if she were alive'. Initially, when he is describing the painting, it sounds as if he is not talking about a previous wife, he is almost talking about it like she was something else - more like an object.

In both of the poems, the man kills the woman for no real reason, but you get some idea by some of the things said that they understood why they wanted to kill them but it makes no sense to us, the reader.

For example, in My Last Duchess - lines 45 & 46 - 'This grew, I gave commands; then all smiles stopped together'. Before this lines he is saying about how she smiles all of the time, and when he passed her she smiled with much the same smile, as if he didn't make a difference to her happiness. He is angry because of this - because she is pleased with everything and everybody and everything is good and equal, no matter the status. Lines 21 - 24 also give this idea; 'She had a heart - how shall I say? - Too soon made glad, too easily impressed'. Also lines 43-45 'oh sir, she smiled no doubt, whene'er I passed her; but who passed without much the same smile?' This shows that he probably killed her because he could not please her how he wanted to, and he didn't make a difference to her happiness, so he would kill her happiness altogether to get his own way.
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He is a bitter old man - jealous that she's happy and he is not, he wants to be like but he cant so he resents her for that 'spot of joy' that moment of joy that she gets very often and that he wants but cant get - so she must die.

Both of the poems are about possession - in My Last Duchess, she is a painting on the wall - he belongs to her and nobody else can have her now - she is unique and there's nothing else like her. He always ...

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