Two Peas In A ‘Far Out’ Pod

871 words - 4 pages

Have you ever fallen in love? Have you ever developed strong feelings for another? If problems arose between the two of you, were you able to overcome them? Well certain men in Robert Browning’s works couldn’t seem to. . . “overcome” these differences with their women. Browning grew up learning from his father’s huge library. His wife was much more successful at writing than him. Eight years after her death, his career turned around for the last 20 years of his life. During this time, he wrote many short dramatic monologues such as My Last Duchess and Prophyria’s Lover. These two very intriguing and disturbing Monologues, My Last Duchess and Prophyria’s Lover, by Robert Browning, involve two very messed up men whose actions are both alike in their idea of immortalizing their woman, but different in why they chose to commit the act between the two stories, and a conclusion may be drawn from this observation.
To begin, the two texts by Browning are similar in their idea of immortalizing women. One of debatably the most disturbing lines in the dramatic monologue Duchess is found starting at the end of line 46, and is nothing but six words. “There she stands as if alive.” In this piece, the narrator is clearly proud of his picture, as he states he is the only one who gets to pull the curtain back to look at it. He tells the man he is conversing with about the story behind it but treats the picture just as any other artwork he owns, as made apparent by his gesture to a statue of his, the Roman god of the sea. In Prophyria’s lover, similarly, the man wishes to immortalize his woman. He becomes obsessed with the fact that she really does love him and in his madness decided to forever keep her that way. Lines 58-59 say, “And thus we sit together now; And all night long we have not stirred.” This man, after jacking his girl, wanted nothing but to savor the moment he had with her afterword. His comment about her one wish implies that he assumed she had wanted to be with him forever, so he made the wish come true through death.
Contrastingly, the two texts are very different in how the act was committed. The Duke in Duchess clearly had thought about the death of his wife before killing her. It definitely seemed premeditated. Unfortunately, something had been building up inside of him for a long time. Starting...

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