Critical Comparison of Porphyrias Lover and My Last Dutchess
Both of these poems are based around the concept of power and
possesion. They tell the story of obssesional lovers. The effect of
using dramatic monologue to convey this idea is very effective.
The first poem, Porphyrias Lover, was written in the mid ninteenth
century, around 1842. It is the dramatic monologue of the Lover. It is
not made known who the recipient of this poem is. I believe it to be
an internal monologue, the Lover is going through in his head the
events of the previous day and night.
The use of only one person speaking gives off the dominance which is
important in the understanding of both poems.
The lover also shows his abnormal character, he is obviously talking
to himself as no body elses present is made known during the speech of
This poem is one stanza long and has a rhyming scheme ABABB. The metre
is regular within alternative lines. Also the line lengths are
constant throughout the poem.
The Lover in this poem is very possesive of Porphyria. He believes
that he is worthy of Pophyria's worship " At last I knew Porphyria
worshipped me." We see his arrogance here, both in his expectation and
in the way he feels worthy of this worship.
In the beginning of the poem the Lover is regarded as being
dissatisfied with Porphyria's love for him. He is latter seen as being
very arrogant and vain. He believes he is a god-like figure worthy not
only of Porphyrias love but also of her worshipping him. He also
thinks that he has the right to end her life. He also shows his
insanity by his obbsesion with the idea of perfection, of their love.
He shows it in other ways, like his overpowering possesiveness and he
it leads him to kill Porphyria so that he can immortalise the moment
Another way he demonstrates his insanity is in the way he opens her
eyes, holds and kissses her when shr is dead. After he has done this
he believes she "blushed bright beneath my burning Kiss." This
behavior is both neurotic and frightening.
Porphyria is seen as being graceful, she "glides" through the door and
also as a very warm person, by the way she brings warmth into the
cottage, When she came in she "shut the cold and the storm out". As
the reader reads on we see her seductiveness, she "put my arm about
her waist and made her shoulder bare" After this has happened the
Lover states his critisisem of her. He says she is "too weak" and
proud and vain. This however tells more about the character of the
Lover than that of Porphyria, it shows his very high expectations and
We are led to believe the cottage in which they meet is isolated and
that it doesn't belong to either of them. This gives us the sense of
secrecy and seclusion which is reflected in their love for each other.
There also seems to be barriers between where Porphyria has come from
and the cottage , like the storm. This is also...