What you have found of interest in the poetry of Robert Browning

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Of the poems that I have studied I have chosen “My Last Duchess”, “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” and “Porphria’s Lover”. The poems are similar in many ways but also have some differences. The poem Porphria’s Lover was published in 1836 and is based on a criminal who murders Porphyria so that he can be with her forever and is based on a gothic romance. My Last Duchess, published in 1842, was set in the Renaissance period in Italy and is based on a man who murders his wife because of jealousy.

Finally, the Pied Piper was published in 1842 and is based on a mysterious character implied as being a minstrel who is not paid for cure the town of a rat infestation and so seeks revenge. Robert Browning, born in 1812, was a famous poet who wrote poems as a story and tried to include as much rhyme as possible to make it flow better. He wrote his poems as sinister and disturbing stories which often confused the reader. He left his poems open for the imagination of the reader to decide what was actually happening and used a very sophisticated style of writing.

The poem “My Last Duchess” it is about a Duke who has had his wife murdered so that he is single and can find a new wife. This is shown by the phrase “then all smiles stopped together”, which suggests that the Duke had her killed. She was murdered as her heart was “too easily impressed” and because “her looks went everywhere”. These phrases suggest that he was jealous of her as she was too friendly to other men and so he did not think that she was a good wife.

Both of the other poems reflect this theme of murder but for different reasons, like in the pied piper it is for revenge as the promised payment is denied. “But as for the guilders, what we spoke of them, as you very well know was in joke”. This shows that the council is denying the piper his money and it also shows the affect of the rhyme that has been used and how it helps to keep the poem flowing well and in Porphria’s Lover murder is committed for love.

The words “strangled her” show how the victim was killed, but the reason in which the deed was committed is because the character loved her and because she was happy he killed her so that her happiness cold last forever. This shows interest in the poetry of Robert Browning as the poems include the same themes and this shows how his poetry was closely connected, but within the themes there are different reasons and different stories to go with them. The poem the pied piper is written as a ditty. This means that it is told as a song and tells an interesting story.

This also links with the rhyme that Browning often included in his poetry. The poem is also written using enjambment which, as well as the rhyming couplets, helps the poem to flow well and to keep the reader interested and amused. “Anything like the sound of a rat make my heart go pit-a-pat”, this shows where rhyme is used and shows how it help the poem to flow well and to make it more exciting. Also since it was written for children it also helps to keep them amused as to stop their attention from swaying.

Whilst this poem is a ditty the other two poems are Dramatic Monologues. This means that is aimed at one person only. In my last Duchess the poem is part of a conversation between the duke and an envoy and since this Duke is the narrator it becomes a dramatic monologue, and in Porphria’s lover the narrator is talking to god, “and yet god has not said a word”, which also makes it a dramatic monologue. This shows a contrast between the three poems. Also since Robert Browning was very interested in the minds of murderers, he uses his thoughts in Porphria’s Lover.

He illustrates the murder well by saying “three times her little throat around, and strangled her”. This shows that the lover killed Porphyria with her own hair and the poem also suggests that this was done as he didn’t want to loose Porphyria again as she had another relationship and so he killed her when he knew she was deeply in love with him. “At last I knew Porphyria worshipped me”, this shows that she really had loved him now and so he killed her when she was happy.

This illustrates Browning’s beliefs well and shows that the language in each of the three poems is very similar and shows this interest of Robert Browning’s work as there is a clear link between his mind and his work. The pied Piper is written for the audience of children, but mainly one child called Willy. “So, Willy, let me and you be wipers”. This shows that it is written for a child and so the poem was written for children, it was written for Willy and then given to him to draw pictures for it as he was a sick child and there was nothing else to do to entertain him so Browning wrote it for him.

This is also why it is not as gruesome as some of his other work as otherwise it could scare the chosen audience of the poem. Rhyme was also used as it amuses and entertains children and so the poems target audience enjoys the poem. This contrasts the other two poems as these were written for adults. This is shown by the gruesome and sinister actions that take place in the poems such as the phrase “and all her hair in one long yellow string I wound three times her little throat around and strangled her”.

This shows the sinister side of the poem and relates back to Browning’s interest in criminal minds. This also shows why it would not really be suitable for children. Also in the poem My Last Duchess it says “Then all smiles stopped together”. This suggests that the Duke had his wife killed but, even though it does not include anything that will scare children, it is complex and so a young child would not understand the point of this phrase and so therefore would not understand the poem.

This also shows why the audience of the poem contrasts from that of The Pied Piper and shows much interest in the work of Robert Browning. Browning’s writes in a very formal and complex style. This follows in all of his work but there are some differences in these pieces. In the Pied Piper Browning uses rhyme to tell the story “of all the pleasant sights they see which the piper also promised me”. This shows how style of rhyme in this poem helps to make the poem more exciting and to help it flow and become of interest to the reader.

But in Porphria’s Lover a different style of writing is used, Browning uses a range of vocabulary and a thorough description to make the poem work well. “The sullen wind was soon awake; it tore the elm-tops down for spite”. This shows how the description of the poem makes it fit together well and how the correct style is used to make the readers imagination help to put them into the story. Also in my Last Duchess this style is used to create the perfect atmosphere to help the reader to imagine what is actually happen. But this poem is more complex and is more difficult to understand.

This shows how Browning’s. This shows how the pieces of work contrast with each other but also shows some comparisons like the use of rhyme in all of them, although there is more in the Pied Piper and this shows how interest has been found in the style of these three poems. The purpose of the three poems is different in each of the one. The purpose of Pied Piper is to entertain children as in the time that the poem was written there was not much to do for entertainment such as radio or TV and so this was written to entertain and amuse younger audiences.

This is shown by the use of rhyme and the happy, bright colours from the clothing of the piper. “Was half of yellow and half of red”, this is a description of the pied pipers clothing and this would help to entertain children and make them laugh, although the poem is, in the end, quite disturbing. This contrasts with Porphyria’s Lover as this poem was based on the beliefs of Browning and why he thought murder was committed. This is shown by the way the character in the poem commits murder for no apparent reason and shows that the lover is mental.

And thus we sit together now, and all night long we have not stirred”. This also shows the mind of the lover as after committing the murder they have then spent all night lying next to the dead body. The purpose of My Last Duchess is to show how the upper class thought themselves to be above the law as the name of the poem “My Last Duchess” suggests that the Duke has been with other women and since he is not with them now, it implies that he had had them killed to make way for a new wife, simply because he could not be bothered with the effort of divorce.

This shows a large interest in the work of Robert Browning because, although all of the poems include the same theme, they are written for different purposes and contrast in these ways. Out of the three poems studied I preferred the Pied Piper mainly because of the rhyme used in the poem to tell a story and the way in which it is not to gruesome unlike the other two poems. I also enjoyed this poem the most because it was very simple and easy to understand, yet it was very interesting and kept me amused.

I did not like My Last Duchess very much because of the way the narrator is very posh and arrogant. The phrase “My gift of a nine hundred year old name”, suggests that he thought himself to be very posh and of the upper class and so therefore he should be treat with the utmost respect, whereas his duchess does not love him because of his standing in society but for his personality, and so he disposes of her which I believe was wrong and so I did not particularly enjoy this poem.

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