Porphyria’s lover and My last duchess by Robert Browning

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Both poems are written in dramatic monologue. In both poems they both show their feelings and attitudes towards their lovers. Both poems show male dominance and their control of the whole situation throughout the poem. This was probably traditional at Browning’s time that the man is strong and the poor woman is the weak victim. But in My last duchess we are witnessing man who wanted control, power and respect from everyone a typical (18th aristocrat. Even his wife was no exception. The duke considers himself above the law and at his level there is only his law.

The duke also speaks in rhyming caplets as well as dramatic monologue. In Porphyria’s lover we are looking at a man who has wild emotions and feelings towards Porphyria. He talks about his feelings just before he kills her. He says how much he loves her and wants her to be only his forever. He doesn’t want to allow destiny to take her somewhere else in life. He wants her to reach his level and thoughts of her to be his fantasy in his twisted head. So she can only live in his heart and she has no rite to live on earth.

Both men in the poems use rhyming caplets and dramatic monologue because this describes the way their thoughts are organised and their obsession and control over their lovers lives as well as they are sadistically controlling their love. The narrator in both Porphyria’s lover and my last duchess is speaking as a 1st person. The narrator is speaking and confessing from the main guilty characters point of view in the poems. In the poems the narrator is confessing in the last duchess as the duke and we are listening, witnessing as the emissary the servant.

The duke is confessing the murder of the duchess while looking at her painting. The duke talks about his feelings and attitudes towards the duchess. He mentions her happiness was his anger. Her cheerful appreciation for life drove his insanity to murder her. In Porphyria’s lover the narrator is also confessing as Porphyria’s lover, at all times giving his point of view. We are witnessing as the prison visitor and the interrogator. Porphyria’s lover confesses to the murder of Porphyria. The lover sits starring into space until he gets a picture of that stormy, windy, rainy night.

He starts by mentioning the background and the murder took place in the backdrop of such a wild weather and climate. He mentions that their love for each other was unconditional and so the more she loved and worshiped him. It drove his insanity to take possession of her and not even allow destiny or anyone else to take her away from him. Her love was getting stronger, his insanity was growing stronger telling him to dedicate something creative and twisted for their love so he killed her

In both Porphyria’s lover and my last duchess there are two heroines who both are victims of evil insane men who for the most twisted reason murder them, yet love is not a reason to kill but to live for. Both Porphyria and the duchess are victims of evil and wrong we don’t know much about their characters fighting for good or justice or representing either of the two. But because they are at the opposite or opposing end of evil this makes the duchess and Porphyria representing good. This makes them heroines and good where as the duke and lover are evil so they are the badies. This makes a power struggle between good and evil.

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