Porphyria's Lover Analysis

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Mr. Whyte
AP Literature
10 September 2012
“Porphyria’s Lover” Analysis
Robert Browning is a Victorian writer during the time of Jack the Ripper. Jack the Ripper inspires Browning’s Realistic art. In “Porphyria’s Lover”, Browning’s style incorporates dramatic monologue along with Gothic influences to ridicule the concept of Romanticism.

Browning writes the poem as a dramatic monologue to emphasize the uneasy feeling of the situation. The poem opens with the setting of a storm; a storm in which “the rain set…the sullen wind was…awake, [which] tore elm-tops for spite.” The rain creates a sense of renewal, and the violent wind foreshadows deadly actions. This shows the Realism influences of Browning; typically, Romantics portray love with a bright and awe-worthy environment, however, Browning shows the irrational part of this love through violent weather. When Porphyria enters the room, Browning shows how the lover sees her as inviting as she seduces him by exposing her shoulder and more. This reveals the intense passion that Porphyria has for her lover, and how the lover wants to preserve that feeling of her seduction and intense love. Romantics see this as an opportunity to “seize the day” in which the lover can make love to Porphyria; in reality, the lover “seizes the day” by killing her in order to maintain their love. The dramatic monologue reveals his point of view, and he sees no pain in her. The lover believes hat “she felt no pain”, but death is not painless, and the lover loses credibility and reliability. His demented personality reveals his obsession as he describers that he “knew Porphyria worshiped [him].” His use of enjambment shows how the lover focuses more about Porphyria than his surroundings. This shift in focus is noticeable as the lover rambles on about Porphyria which shows how he wants to keep her safe since he sees her as a possession that is his only.

Browning combines the concepts of Realism with Gothic nuances. The lover...
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