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A Literary Comparison Of Robert Browning’s Texts My Last Duchess And Porphyria’s Lover

1129 words - 5 pages

Most people have fallen in love at least once in their lives. I too fall in this category. Just like any Disney movie that you watch, people fall in love with each other, and they get married and live happily ever after right? Wrong! In real life, there are some strange things that can happen, including death, divorce, or other weird things that you never see in Disney movies. Robert Browning’s literary works are great examples of “Non-Fairytale Endings.” Not only does Browning have endings in his stories that aren’t the norm in children movies, but he also has some twisted and interesting things happen in the story of lovers. In Robert Browning’s works, Porphyria’s Lover, and My Last Duchess, the speakers can be both compared and contrasted.
Initially, both speakers in the literary texts are similar because they killed their lovers. In Duchess, the duke that is the speaker says blatantly that he killed his last wife. As the speaker says in lines 45-46, “I gave commands; then the smiling stopped all together.” These lines mean that he told her to stop smiling, but she didn’t listen to him, so therefore he killed her, thus the smiles stopped all together. He explained that he did this such action because she smiled too much. In the same way, the speaker of Lover explained that he killed his lover too. The speaker grabbed his woman’s hair, and wrapped it around her neck three times, and strangled her to death! “I found a thing to do, and all her hair in one long yellow string I wound three times her little throat around, and strangled her” (Lines 37-41).
In addition, the speakers from Lover, and Duchess, both have mental disorders. Because both of the speakers killed their lovers, it is pretty obvious that they must have been messed up in the head. I mean, they must have been a few fries short of a Happy Meal. The speaker in Duchess had had multiple wives, and he kept getting new ones that were good enough for him. On the other hand, the speaker from Lover has had only the one lover that we know of, and for some reason he decided that to make her happy, he had to kill her in order to keep her for him forever! Also, we are told that the speaker plays with his lover’s body after he strangles her. I’m not sure if this is an act of necrophilia, or what, but if that doesn’t prove that he is sick in the head, then I don’t know what would.
Also, the two speakers in Browning’s two texts are similar because they are both jealous. In the text Duchess, the speaker gets extremely jealous due to the fact that his wife is always smiling at other guys. “Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt, whene’er I passed her; but who passed without much the same smile?” (Lines 43-45) The speaker explains that he notices her giving the same smile to other guys that she gives to him, and so he gets angry and jealous, which eventually leads to his murdering of her. In relation, the speaker of Lover gets jealous because his girl goes to a party without him. Also, he knows that...

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