Robert Browning " Porphyria Lover"

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In Robert Browning’s poem, “Porphyria Lover,” both the speaker and Porphyria desire to be the most dominate partner in their relationship. Porphyria, however, brings tension into their relationship when she constantly attempts to be the most dominate partner. As the tensions keep increasing, the speaker finds it hard to fulfill his role as a man. However, when Porphyria’s weakness is brought to the speaker’s attention, he attempts to take full advantage. In the beginning of the poem, Porphyria appears to be the most dominate partner. For example, when Porphyria enters the cottage, she becomes very active, while the speaker remains still: “She is active, he is passive; she is talkative, and he is silent; she comes in after being with many other people, while he sits alone and isolated in his cottage” (Hacht 152). Obviously, Porphyria is the one in dominion. Annie Hacht also agrees that Porohyria “is clearly more in charge” (155). In addition, Porphyria feels she is able to control the speaker because she comes from a wealthy class: “The fact that she was at a “gay feast’ indicates that she is from the wealthy classes, and so s he has a much higher social position than he (speaker)” (Hacht 155). The fact that a Porphyria is wealthier in the relationship makes it difficult for the speaker to have complete control. Though Porphyria is in command, she also becomes very forceful: “She (Porphyria) put my arm around her waist / And made her smooth white shoulder bare / And all her yellow hair displaced / And, stooping, made my cheek lie there” (Browning 16-19). Before Prophyria tries to seduce the speaker, she reveals her forcefulness and dominance in the relationship (Hacht 152). When Porphyria enters into the cottage, in the beginning of the poem, her presence becomes forceful: “She shut the cold out and the storm” (Browning 7). Hacht also agrees that Porphyria‘s presence is also forceful as she enters the cottage. Even though Porphyria is the most...
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