Porphyria's Lover

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Porphyria’s Lover is a typical dramatic monologue by Browning, where we get an insight into the narrator’s thoughts. In the poem, we get an insight into the thoughts of a man who kills his love interest out of jealousy: “Nor could to-night’s gay feast restrain.” This gives the impression of Porphyria living a very high status life, just coming from a party, and the narrator being her love interest that she is sneaking away from her life to see. On the other hand, Porphyria’s death could have been provoked by pure psychosis: “I am quite sure she felt no pain.” This is ironic, as the reader knows that Porphyria must have felt pain after being strangled by her own hair, leading the reader to believe that the narrator could be somewhat psychotic therefore immediately putting a more sinister atmosphere on the poem from that turning point. The present part of the poem is the very end of the poem after the death of Porphyria and after he has sat with her body all night: “All night long we have not stirred.” The ending is left fairly inconclusive, with the reader wondering whether he will get away with it, with the final line being: “And yet God has not said a word!” For Browning, the entire poem is mainly set in the past, and as it is a dramatic monologue of the narrators thoughts, there is a disturbing sense as it could be interpreted as the narrator reliving the situation in his mind, which could be a suggestion for the peculiar rhyme scheme: ABABB. The extra rhyme at the end could suggest the narrator repeating thoughts in his head, therefore showing his disturbing train of thought. As the poem is chronological and is set in the past, it starts off fairly stereotypical of the narrator describing his love in an optimistic light: “That moment she was mine, mine fair, perfectly pure and good.” The repetition emphasises the word “mine”, however could also portray the narrator’s obsessive, strange personality. The positive lexis which describes Porphyria as being so...
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