Robert Browning's My Last Duchess And Porphyria's Lover

1326 words - 5 pages

Sometimes poets can write the most absurd and questionable things. Even though that their writing is questionable at times, it is still worth the read. It makes you think about criminals in a new way, but sometimes, it can go to a more negative view. Robert Browning, a man who might not have had a teacher, self-taught himself in his father’s six thousand book library decided to become a poet. One of the many poems that he wrote, My Last Duchess, is about a man whose wife just died and he is looking into a new woman to marry. The poem starts out by him talking to an agent who was hired by the father of the woman he wants to marry. He shows the agent a portrait of his late wife, and says many creepy and disturbing things which is validated, “A Duke guides a guest around his art collection, including a portrait of his dead wife, was one of Browning's first (and arguably best) brilliant attempts at a dramatic monologue.” (MacNeice, Louis). The other poem, Porphyria’s Lover which is also by Robert Browning, is also another odd poem. This one is about a man who is waiting for his girlfriend in a cottage, and when she finally shows up, he is mad at her. She knows this and sits by him and puts his head on her shoulder and says that she loves him, as if she had to do this a hundred times before. Except this time is different, he knew she was at a party with other men and even though she didn’t give into temptation this time, she always could. However, she says that she worships him. He eventually came up with a solution; he took her hair, wrapped it three times around her neck, kills her and then lays her head on his shoulder. There is obviously something off about these two speakers from these poems. The two speakers from Robert Browning’s poems My last Duchess and Porphyria’s Lover are similar because of their mental state and their reasons yet, they are different because of their attitude towards their deeds.
First of all, the speakers from My Last Duchess and Porphyria’s Lover have very similar mental states. These two are both insane including the speaker from Porphyria’s Lover which is stated by, “The lover, indelibly caught in the amorous mood of the moment, then misreads the degree of her romantic commitment and murders her” (Efird, Tyler). They kill the people that they love, or are supposed to love. How could someone kill someone that they love? This obviously shows that they aren’t mentally stable, or are they? In Porphyria’s Lover, the speaker doesn’t have a plan to kill her when he is waiting for her, this is a plan that just came up in his head at the last minute; it was a last minute decision. Murderers usually come up with plans that they draw up for days and plan it to every single day, but he is still a killer. The speaker from My last Duchess is also insane; he is less transparent though. When he is talking to the agent, he is basically showing his crazy off. The painting of his late wife, “That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall. /...

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