Robert Browning was born in 1812 in Camberwell, in a suburb of London. Young Robert spent much of his time in his father's private library of 6000 volumes in several languages. The chief source of his education.
Browning became an admirer of Elizabeth's Barrett's poetry in 1844. He began corresponding with her by letter. This was the start of one of the world's most famous romances. Their courtship lasted until 1846 when they were married. The couple moved to Italy that same year and had a son, Pen, later in 1849.
Robert did not become recognized as a poet, until after Elizabeth's death in 1861. After which, he was honoured for the rest of his life as a literary figure.
Robert is perhaps best known for his dramatic monologue technique. In his monologues, he spoke in the voice of an imaginary or historical character. Robert had a fondness for people who lived during the Renaissance. Most of his monologues portray persons at dramatic moments in their lives.
He is buried in Westminster Abbey, in Poet's Corner. Robert Browning died in 1889, at the age of 77.
Women in the Victorian period were mainly used for cleaning, having children, cooking and for keeping a man happy (not necessarily by talking). The Victorian period that Robert Browning was living in, was the first time women were seen as sexual objects e.g. prostitutes. Prostitution was very common at that time so at that time men would just get a cheap thrill off one and would not have to care for one and even care if a prostitute was to get pregnant and support her. So now men saw this going about they would begin to feel the same and feel they owned a woman and a woman had no feelings or money.
In both these poems the women are resembled to having no mind of there own and the men controlled them and if things got out of control then bad news for the women. The men would take matters into there own hands and instead of the women going with someone else they would receive 'there marching orders.
I will now be explain what is going on in each poem and then I will be comparing and contrasting both poems to see what things are similar e.g. both women seem to be having other relationships, and to see what things are different e.g. woman is a lover (porphyria's lover) and the other the woman is a wife (My last Duchess).
'My last Duchess'
The speaker of Robert Browning's dramatic monologue "My Last Duchess" is an Italian duke who ordered the murder of his wife and is currently showing her portrait to a servant or envoy of his future father-in-law. The duke shows this painting only to select strangers in order to flaunt his prize, and he enjoys telling them the story of why he ordered her death. This portrait is the embodiment of what he believes his wife should be - a trophy whose beauty...