Comparing Poems 'My Last Duchess And' Porphyria's Lover

Words: 1931
Pages: 8

Objectification of Women
During the Victorian Era men were always superior to women and would objectify them in everything including literature such as poems. One of the most known poets to objectify women in poetry during that time period would be Robert Browning. His most known poem out of all his work would be "My Last Duchess". That poem has several interpretations and is very similar to his other poem "Porphyria's Lover" in which was thought as the most shocking due to its dramatic monologue. These two poems are similar in numerous amounts of ways, yet are completely different in extraordinary ways. Robert Browning shows the objectification of women in both poems to exhibit the male's desire to control everyone inferior to them.
Robert Browning is known for his dramatic poems relating to difficult and intense situations, for example "My Last Duchess" is about a Duke who killed his past wife and is trying to marry another
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Except Porphyria is less shy and more seductive than the Duchess was. For example when Porphyria is soaking wet from the rain, she "Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl, / And laid her soiled gloves by, untied / Her hat and let the damp hair fall, / And, last, she sat down by my side" (Porphyria's Lover 11-14) It is obvious that she is trying to seduce the Narrator with her smooth movements. Her confidence in flirting causes the Narrator to feel lost and confused in how to act. She continues her flirting in lines 16 through 19 "She put my arm about her waist, / And made her smooth white shoulder bare / and all her yellow hair displaced, / And, stooping, made my cheek lie there" (Porphyria's Lover 16-19). One of the Porphyria's actions that makes the Narrator feel very insecure is the act of flirting without the Narrator being in control. She is in control when she grabs his arm and puts it around her waist rather than him doing action