Porphyria's Lover Analysis Essay

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Compassion and Obsession
An Analysis of Browning’s Porphyria’s Lover and My Last Duchess

“All extremes of feeling are allied with madness,” said Virginia Woolf, and English writer. Robert Browning is the author of both poems “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover.” Both of these poems are dramatic monologues in which the speaker is a male character. In “My Last Duchess, ” the Duke is showing a painting that is kept behind a curtain only he draws open. The painting is of his first wife, the Duchess who was pleased with everyone and everything. The Duke then ends the showing with the hint that his wife was murdered. In “Porphyria’s Lover,” a lover who’s name is not mentioned, but is male in alone in his house on a stormy night when his lady, Porphyria walks in. Porphyria sits by her lover and rests his head on her shoulder when he strangles Porphyria with her own hair. Soon after Porphyria is killed, her lover rests her head on his shoulder just as she did. In “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning there are similarities and differences. The first similarity in “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover” is the
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The speaker in “Porphyria’s Lover” only refers to himself as Porphyria's lover, which he only describes himself through his relationship with her. He desires more than love from her that eventually leads to his need to possess Porphyria. “I listened with heart fit to break.” (Line 5) Porphyria’s lover has the idea of heartbreak which shows his anger and obsession. Whereas in “My Last Duchess” the Duke only sees possession of his Duchess though the painting of her he owns. In her death, the Duke has the ability to control who does and does not get to see his wife. He controls everything around him, but when he couldn’t control his the happiness of his Duchess, he had her