• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

the madness and wickedness in each poem. This essay will include three of Robert Browning's poems; they are Porphyria's Lover, My Last Duchess and The Laboratory.

Extracts from this document...


In this essay I hope to prove that Robert Browning's murder mystery poems are fulfilled with intrigue and excitement. I also hope to prove that in his poems he creates vivid characters and uses poetic techniques to expose a world of madness and wickedness. To show that the statements above are true I will be writing about the characters, the poetic features in each poem and the madness and wickedness in each poem. This essay will include three of Robert Browning's poems; they are Porphyria's Lover, My Last Duchess and The Laboratory. Robert Browning was born on the seventh of May in eighteen twelve in Camberwell a suburb of London. He was the first child of Robert and Sarah Anna Browning. His mother was an accomplished pianist and his Father was a clerk in the Bank of England. Robert Browning was largely self-taught. He was an extremely bright child and a voracious reader. By the time he was fourteen he had learned Latin, Greek, French and Italian. He attended the University of London in eighteen twenty eight but left in discontent to pursue his reading at his own pace. In eighteen forty six he married Elizabeth Barrett and moved to Florence, Italy. He moved back to London in eighteen sixty one but spent his final years with his only son back in Italy. He died in eighteen eighty nine and is buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey. He wrote his first poem 'Pauline' in eighteen thirty three. Browning wrote during the romantic era in the nineteenth century. ...read more.


The second poem is My Last Duchess which was one of Browning's first monologues. In this poem the Duke is telling a story to one of his guests at a party. They are walking around the Duke's house looking at pictures and in particular the picture of the Duke's last wife who has died. The Duke is speaking in the poem and through what he says and how he says it we gain an impression of him also through him we learn about his wife, the last Duchess. We learn a great deal about the Duke's character by hearing how he thought and felt about his wife. The Duke is manipulative, devious, cold, and filled with family pride, 'My gift of a nine-hundred-year-old name with anybody's gift'. He was a cold man and was very stern. 'And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst'. He was a very jealous man and had little time for his wife, he never told her what he thought or felt, like when he thought she was having an affair with the artist he never confronted her about it. 'Sir,'t was not her husband's presence only, called that spot of joy on the Duchess' cheek'. The Duke thought he was important and that he was superior to other people. 'E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose never to stoop.' He thought his wife was below him, 'who stoop to blame'. ...read more.


Alliterations 'brand, burn up, bite' symbolizes her state of mind and her viciousness. It has the rhyming scheme of abab. The speaker's madness and wickedness is shown through her enjoyment of watching the apothecary make the poison and the way she plans how she is going to kill her lover's mistress. 'I am not in haste' this shows her satisfaction in watching the poison being made. She thinks of different ways she can give the poison to her. 'To carry pure death in an ear-ring, a casket, a signet, a fan-mount, a filigree basket'. Her wickedness is shown when she tells the apothecary that she wants the poison to be attractive so when it is horrible it is more of a shock. 'The colour's too grim. Why not soft phial's, enticing, dim? Let it brighten her drink, let her turn it and stir, and try it and taste, ere she fix and prefer'. She also shows her wickedness again in the fact that she wants her lover's mistress to die in pain with him watching her die. I enjoyed all three of the poems but I especially liked reading and studying The Laboratory because I thought it was interesting the way someone could have such a cold attitude to killing someone and actually be eager to do so. All three poems were written as dramatic monologues and they were all about a lover or husband killing their lover or wife because of stupid reasons. I enjoyed the way the poem was written because you felt like you were actually there and they were speaking to you. ...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. Commentary on 'My Last Duchess' by Robert Browning

    The use of ebb, flow, and misery makes the night and the relationship between the lovers appears dark and chaotic. Through his depiction of the eroding shores of the earth, Arnold describes the constant changes in the relationship and the continuous changes of their feelings towards each other.

  2. My last duchess - original writing. We were running like the wind, our ...

    I'd looked splendid, it was like in a dream...my face, somewhat luminous, had a pale tone to it. The eyes were a piercingly sharp shade of blue. Eyebrows were arched over the curve before dispersing onto the bridge of my nose.

  1. Critical appreciation of Robert Browning poems.

    "The Dropping of daylight," He puts an image of the sun setting, into our heads. Browning also uses elision. An example of the elision is the word "whate'er." Porphyria's lover was also published in 1842 in dramatic lyrics. Porphyria's lover was a fantasy made up by Browing which was not

  2. How does Robert Browning use the dramatic monologue to portray madness in his poems

    The hyphens show the Duke's pauses in his speech, this indicates that the Duke is nervous. Other poetic techniques such as rhyming couplets are used. "That's my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf's hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands."

  1. Analysis of My Last Duchess by Robert Browning.

    The caesuras also suggest to the reader that he is hiding something or that he is pausing to think. I enjoyed reading the poem and felt that "My Last Duchess" both measures and crosses the boundaries between perceiving subject and perceived object to complement or repeat the way its speaker charms its auditor.

  2. Both My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover are dramatic monologues written by Robert Browning. ...

    When she "made her smooth white shoulder bare.....murmuring how she loved me" this gives the idea that the relationship has a s****l element, of which she is in control of. There is no direct mention of s*x, passion or love in "My Last Duchess" In both "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria's Lover" s*x and violence are explored.

  1. 'My Last Duchess' is a love poem, where it describes about 2 people marrying ...

    The duke considered her as a peasant as she always acted like one and not like a duchess and he blamed her for embarrassing him. He also said he has to 'stoop' or lower his status to a peasant or a villager to tolerate her overfriendly actions.

  2. The comparison of 'My Last Duchess' and 'The Laboratory'

    Adding on to the victim hypothesis the women may be controlled by her partner, maybe a threat of divorce? To avoid public humiliation she would do his bid? She could have had enough of the commands and decided to take her own actions?

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