This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Robert Browning Essay

1517 words - 7 pages

In the poem “Porphyria’s Lover”, the author Robert Browning uses the ideas of love and sin to create a contradiction and uses this contradiction to explore the relationship between morality and art. The poem is much more complex than a perverse, frightening account of a man with the inability to properly express his feelings for a woman.
The title “Porphyria’s Lover” leads the audience to believe that the woman and the speaker have had a relationship for a good period of time. When the woman enters into the man’s presence, she enters the cabin with ease and starts a fire; something a person would not do unless they were comfortable with the person and the situation. The actions of the ...view middle of the document...

The reason why the speaker and Porphyria physically trade places is to show the transition of power in the relationship from female to male, giving the effect that the speaker is possessive of Porphyria’s love and wants to admire her for its intensity.
Porphyria’s movements show the dominance that she has over the speaker in the first half of the poem. She controls his movements through the first half of the poem as well. When the speaker did not respond to being called, she proceeded to “put my arm around her waist…made my cheek lie there.” Porphyria really wanted to give her love to the speaker. She was just dealing with her heart, but she was “struggling to set its passion free from pride, and vainer ties...” We do not know exactly what those ties were that were restraining Porphyria but according to the speaker, she wanted to sever the ties so that she could “give herself to me forever.”
The passive moment where Porphyria does not do anything after making the man’s cheek lie there is when the view that male should have control of the relationship since that passivity sets the two characters up to switch places. While the woman at first has all command over what is going to happen between them, there is a sudden shift. Once he realizes that she is has the power, he strangles her and then does whatever he wants to do with her, making her more passive than he had been as well as making himself far more aggressive than she had been. The speaker is officially in control once he strangles her. When he realized that Porphyria truly did love him, the speaker decided to show his gratitude by killing her at that moment because Porphyria was “perfectly pure and good,” and the speaker wanted to capture that moment. Why he did this is so Porphyria could “give herself to me forever.” The speaker goes on to take over as the dominant character as in the latter half of the poem the speaker begins to become physically active and switches places with Porphyria. He kisses Porphyria after strangling her stating that her “cheek…blushed bright beneath my burning kiss.” He propped her head upon his shoulder showing the transition of him becoming the dominant partner, which additionally gives the effect of the speaker’s admiration and possession of Porphyria’s love.
This suggests the idea of the male-dominated Victorian society and its inherit male chauvinism. In the beginning of the poem, she shows tremendous agency over the encounter and the speaker does not feel comfortable with this and he does not know how to respond to her. For him, the only way to overcome this and reverse their roles is to murder her, rendering her unable to exercise dominance over him.
There are two types of sin in the poem. The first is the obvious murder; the second is the woman’s sin of sexuality and desire. Women during this time were supposed to remain pure and loyal to their virtue. This meant ignoring their sexuality and pretending it did not exist. If a woman did give in to her...

Find Another Essay On Robert Browning

Poetry Of Robert Browning Essay

1668 words - 7 pages Robert Browning used his poetry as a way of self-determination as many of the ideas expressed in his poems go against the current of the Victorian era. His poetry should be included in the texts list for the HSC because they not only offer examples of classic poetry but also provide insights into the 19th century English society in terms of behaviour, gender roles and religion. Three poems that are fine examples of this are "Porphyria's Lover

Tragic Life and Works of Robert Browning

1281 words - 6 pages Robert browning established some great works in the 18th century his poems had dramatic verses and a dramatic style. Browning took off very slowly but when he did he became very noticed in the English society and his hard work eventually took off and got noticed also. Browning symbolizes the dramatic monologue like for example, in his poem ‘’my last duchess’’ he gave out conclusions through his characters actions. Browning

Research task: Robert Browning and Context

1457 words - 6 pages Year 11 Extension Research Task: Robert Browning and the Victorian AgeRobert Browning (7 May 1812 - 12 December 1889)Robert Browning was born, in Camberwell, London, England. His father, a senior clerk with the Bank of England, provided a comfortable living for his family and passed on a love of art and literature to Robert. His mother, an excellent amateur pianist, gave him a love of music, while her strong religious faith provided him with a

My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

1117 words - 4 pages Power and Control in My Last Duchess by Robert Browning Power is the ability of an individual or group to influence the behavior of others through manipulation, coercion, persuasion, or domination. It is the possession of authority over others and the degree of influence that an individual or individuals have amongst their peers and within society as a whole. Therefore, the possession of power allows for the imposition of one’s will in a given

Critical Appreciation of Robert Browning Poems

2112 words - 8 pages Critical Appreciation of Robert Browning Poems Robert Browning was one of the great poets of the Victorian age. He was on born 7th May 1812 in Camberwell and he died on the 2nd December 1889. Robert Browning got secretly married to Elizabeth Barrett in 1846 and went on to live in Italy. Browning became an admirer of Elizabeth's Barrett’s poetry in 1844. He began corresponding with her by letter. This was the start of

My Last Duchess by Robert Browning Analysis

3172 words - 13 pages My Last Duchess by Robert Browning is a poem that takes place during the Renaissance, in which the reader can conclude that the speaker punishes his last wife for asserting her natural sexuality, due to the fact of the Duke’s evident jealousy and his controlling possessive nature. Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess is one of the most famous dramatic monologues; his use of the soliloquy is essential because it reveals the speaker’s characteristic

Compare and Contrast Poetry by Robert Browning

3478 words - 14 pages IntroductionRobert 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

The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning

2323 words - 9 pages The Dramatic Monologues of Robert Browning Consider the range of characterisation in Browning’s dramatic monologues and the poetic methods he employs to portray his speakers. Some are written in rhyming verse, use metaphors, et cetera, but for what reason? What is the writer trying to achieve and how successful is he? Robert Browning (1812-1889) was an English poet noted for his mastery of dramatic monologue. He was born in

Analysis of Porphyria’s Lover by Robert Browning

976 words - 4 pages hair from around her neck. Spending the rest of the night with her as if nothing ever happened. Creepy right? In Porphyria’s Lover a poem written by Robert Browning the irony is sharply clear, the narrator has committed a very brutal act and justifies it as not only acceptable, but as noble. Throughout the poem the imagery and symbolism along with theme and setting suggest an overextended darkness. The narrator starts by describing the storm

"My Last Duchess" By Robert Browning

786 words - 3 pages Robert Browning is known as the Master of Psychological dramatic monologue. In "My last Duchess" the reader only hears the Duke's story whose perverse point of view throws false accusations towards his recently deceased wife. What the reader knows about the characters is limited, so he must piece together the story on his own. The story the duke thinks he tells, of an unfaithful wife who offended his dignity, and the story he really tells, of

My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

2207 words - 9 pages .” Scholars. 1.18 (Summer, 2012): Web. Adler, Joshua. “Structure and Meaning in Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess.” Victorian Poetry. 15.3 (Autumn, 1977) 219-227. Web. Browning, Robert. “My Last Duchess.” The Longman Anthology of British Literature: Fourth Edition. Ed. David Damrosch and Kevin J.H. Dettmar. New York: Pearson, 2010. 1328- 1331. Print.

Similar Essays

Robert Browning Essay

1672 words - 7 pages Robert Browning Robert Browning was born on May 7, 1812 in a house on Southampton Street in Camberwell England. This was located in the new Suburbs of London. He was born to the parents of Sarah Anna Widerman and Robert Browning Senior. On the night of his birth a comet blazed over England. Browning had one younger sister born in 1814 named Sarina. Browning was born to very liberal art parents. His father loved painting and wanted to be

Robert Browning Essay

1114 words - 4 pages Robert Browning was born on May 7, 1812, in Camberwell, which isnow a part of London. He had no real formal education so he was largelyself educated. His father was a smart man with an extensive library. Hismother was kindly, religious minded woman, who loved music and herbrilliant son. He lived at his parents house almost until the time of hismarriage. He attended a boarding school near Camberwell and spent a littlebit of his time traveling to

Robert Browning Essay

524 words - 2 pages The Jealous Monk      Robert Browning’s, “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister” involves a jealous monk with much hatred of, Brother Lawrence, the “perfect” monk. Irony, diction, and syntax are clearly evident in this dramatic monologue.      Throughout the poem the nameless monk is constantly expressing his anger and sarcasm through the use of syntactical irony. This particular monk is angered

Who Is Robert Browning? Essay

1345 words - 6 pages Do you think you can write 6,000 volumes of books? If you think it’s a lot Robert Browning accomplished it during his career. His volumes included works in Greek, Hebrew, Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish. Although, the early poet of Robert Browning creative life has spent in comparative obscurity, he has came to be the most important poet. A consist reader, Browning would later draw on his wide and sometimes arcane learning in his poetry. He