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Role Of Insanity In "Prophyria's Lover"

944 words - 4 pages

As the reader examines "Prophyria's Lover" by Robert Browning, one recognizes the complete effort of the speaker to disguise his feelings toward the murder of his wife. The speaker goes through different thoughts in relation to the life he has with his wife. Many thoughts include the positive and negative parts about her and their relationship. Throughout the monologue, the speaker tells the readers of his struggles of coming to the conclusion of murdering his wife and the reasons to do so. In “Prophyria’s Lover”, the speaker is faced with many types of insanity before, during, and after the murder of his wife, Prophyria because of the love he has for her.
The speaker is beginning to go insane when Prophyria completely ignores her husband when she comes into the bedroom. She continuously makes very noticeable movements that are noticed by her husband. She drops her long beautiful hair out of her cloak to show her husband. Her husband realizes that she is trying to make him notice her when the speaker says, "Prophyria worshiped [him]; surprise/ Made [his] heart swell, and still it grew/ While [he] debated what to do" (Browning 33-35). The speaker knows he has to do something about the situation once he knows that she is not ever going to leave him. Once he knows that she is not ever going to leave his side, he takes control of her in the worst way possible, which is shown when the speaker says:
That moment she was [his], [his], fair,
Perfectly pure and good: [he] found
A thing to do, and all her hair
In one long yellow string [he] wound
Three times her little throat around
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
[He is] quite sure she felt no pain. (36-42).
He ends up strangling Prophyria with her own hair, which shows that he is now in control and she is not any longer. He wants to keep Prophyria in the place that she always says that he loves him. This shows that the speaker wants to ‘own’ another human being, being Prophyria, in secret for the rest of his life. This also shows that the speaker believes that his wife, Prophyria, feels no pain as she was strangled by her husband. This also shows how the speaker believes that Prophyria is okay with being killed by her husband because she loves him indefinitely.
Furthermore, the speaker believes that Prophyria is happy after she is killed because of her rosy cheeks after he kisses her. He feels like this shows the love that Prophyria had and still has for her husband. The recognizable blushing of Prophyria’s cheeks is shown when the speaker says, " … her cheek once more/ Blushed bright beneath [his]...

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