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Bad Romance (An Analysis Of “My Last Duchess” And “Porphyria’s Lover”)

1071 words - 5 pages

In the two texts “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover” both by Robert Browning describe the horrific events of two doomed lovers and their mistresses. The text of Duchess tells of a jealous lover who is suspicious of his lover’s smile. His jealousy consumed his life to where the point of where his wife died, either from a murder from her lover or from suicide, that we will never know. In the text of Porphyria by Robert Browning also, describes the suspicion he has when his wife comes home from a night on the town, to which the jealous husband strangles her with he own hair. These disturbing texts reveal the jealously of men when it comes to loving their women. Both of these texts of “My ...view middle of the document...

It seems they may even be considered lunatic murders that today we see in popular movies and TV shows. However, when a man kills his wife from either smiling too much, or strangles her because he doesn’t know what to do when she tells him she loves him, this, to me, shows signs of insanity. Both of these men in their respective stories show signs of a “control” issue they have with their lovers. Their lovers are bold loving women, to which any man would be lucky to marry. The woman in Duchess is smiling and always happy, while the woman in Porphyria takes care of the house when she comes in and stokes the fire and gets things prepared. However, for some reason, their men are not satisfied with them, for some, “lunatic” reason they are unhappy with the ways their women act. I am sure that any man would be happy, at least satisfied with a woman who smiles all the time, or who works around the house.
However, a major difference that lies between these two texts is the social hierarchy between the two men in both tales. For one, in the story Duchess obviously there has to be a Duke in order for there to be a Duchess. Duke in the day of when Browning wrote these poems were very wealthy, today they would be compared to billionaires with houses all over the world, yachts, private planes and a collection of vintage vehicles. While in the poem Porphyria, it states, “…and all the cottage warm” (Browning, Porphyria’s Lover, page 982, line 9) This is to mean, with some previous sentences before about their home being next to a lake, that they lived in a small home in the wilderness. However seen by some of us as a luxury to have a home in the secluded woods all by themselves with only nature at their doorstop, however during the time of Browning this was seen as a poor way to live. This only shows that this jealously between men and their wives existed between all social classes in his day.
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