Porphyria's Lover Robert Browning.

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Porphyria’s Lover


   Robert Browning was one of the foremost poets of the nineteenth century. In ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ Browning gives the reader a dramatic insight into the twisted mind of an abnormally possessive lover, who wishes the moment of love to last forever. Robert Browning’s poem ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ is written in the form of a dramatic monologue. This form of writing enables Browning to use irony, in which the real meaning is concealed or contradicted by the literal meanings of the words.

   The mood at the beginning of ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ is bleak. Browning emphasises this by using the technique of ‘pathetic fallacy’, where human emotion is linked to the weather - which is seen as malicious and spiteful:

“The rain set early in to-night,
The sullen wind was soon awake
   It tore the elm-tops down for spite  
And did its worst to vex the lake”

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   When Porphyria enters the room, the mood changes at once. Whereas at the start of the poem, you feel like the shades are cold - blues and greys. The poet uses words such as “sullen”, “spite”, and “vex” to indicate human emotions. As soon as Porphyria enters, the warmth livens the room - the shades are bright - oranges and yellows to lift the senses. Before she enters the room, the lover’s mood is anxious and full of fear and anticipation. Once she has arrived, his mood is ecstatic:

‘I listened with heart fit to break.
 When ...

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