top-rated free essay

How does Browning tell the story in Porphyria's Lover?

By vanessalogue Dec 02, 2013 440 Words
Browning uses a number of different narrative techniques to tell the story in Porphyria’s Lover. The poem is written in first person, in past tense, from the perspective of our narrator who is unnamed but as the title suggests is “Porphyria’s Lover”. This means that the telling of events is not completely reliable and can be assumed to be biased. The narrator’s first line of speech, “I listened heart fit to break” suggests he is waiting for someone, maybe even longing. Browning structured this poem as a dramatic monologue and has included structural features such as enjambment which makes the poem sound less like a crafted speech and more like a casual conversation, which may be seen as eerie considering the events later on in the poem. Porphyria’s Lover follows an iambic tetrameter in the first four lines, however in the fifth line “I listened with heart fit to break”, the regular tetrameter breaks, just like our narrator describes his heart breaking. The poem is set in the lover’s cottage in a secluded forest in the middle of the night. The reclusiveness of the cottage may symbolise the fact that Porphyria sees her lover as a secret, less important part of her life and wants to hide him away. However Porphyria is not given a voice in the poem and does not say anything throughout possibly showing that the narrator sees her as his possession who does not have a voice of her own. When Porphyria enters the cottage she made the interior “blaze up, and all the cottage warm”, contrasting the description of the stormy weather outdoors. This sudden change in atmosphere gives the reader an idea of the narrator’s feelings towards his lover, and the effect she has on him. Browning’s use of language also helps us to understand the mind of the narrator, from as soon as Porphyria enters the cottage the word “and” is repeated again and again, on almost every line up until he decides to kill her, from this it seems obvious that her lover is observing her every move, perhaps he’s watching because he’s in awe of her, or maybe it’s because he doesn’t want her to get away? “All night long we have not stirred, and yet God has not said a word”. This quotation has several connotations, firstly Porphyria’s lover may think that he has not been punished by God, his actions are justified and unquestionable or he may be feeling guilty, but again, by God not punishing him he has done the right thing for the right reasons.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Porphyria’s Lover’ by Robert Browning

    ...Porphyria’s Lover’ by Robert Browning The dramatic monologue is narrated by the voice of the persona, which has been dictated by Robert Browning. This illustrates a contrast in the social classes of Porphyria and the persona. The opening scene is reinforced as “suller” and “spite”, nevertheless, after the presence of Porphyria, the ...

    Read More
  • How Does Browning Tell the Story in the Laboratory?

    ...How does Browning tell the story in “The Laboratory”? Robert Browning’s poem “The Laboratory” is set in France before the French Revolution. The dramatic monologue is about the narrator herself and her plotting of revenge against her previous lover and his current mistress and it tells the reader how she plans on doing so. She belie...

    Read More
  • How Does Browning Reveal His Character Psyche in "Porphyria's lover" and "The Laboratory"?

    ..."Porphyria's lover" (PL) and "The laboratory" (TL) are two dramatic monologues written by Robert Browning. Browning uses a range of techniques to reveal the characters psyche. The characters are both insane and deluded but have big differences, such as one of them is sadistic and the other suffering from subconscious guilt. I will be discussing ...

    Read More
  • Porphyria’s Lover

    ...Robert Browning’s poems were written in the Victorian era in the dramatic monologue style, which Browning was famous for developing. This style is characterised by being an extended speech to a silent audience, being highly coloured and having elements of irony. Porphyria’s Lover is about an insecure, possessive and egotistical lover who, up...

    Read More
  • How does Browning tell the story in 'The Patriot'?

    ...CTG: Next time I need to ensure the accuracy of my point and it rekates clearly to the context and I avoid repetition. I will achieve this by proof reading before handing y essay in and planning my essay in depth before writing it. How does Browning tell the story in The Patriot? The poem ‘the patriot’ showcases the possible effective re...

    Read More
  • "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning: Techniques

    ...The poem "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning, is a dramatic monologue of a man who is so obsessed with Porphyria that he decides to keep her for himself. The only way he feels he can keep her, though, is by killing her. "Dripping", "struggling" - visual image and also sets the scene. Shows that the persona is watching Porphyria's every move ...

    Read More
  • How do men treat women in Porphyria's lover

    ...How do men treat women in Porphyria’s Lover, My Last Duchess, Havisham and A Married State? In Porphyria’s Lover we see the views of a man and how he thinks that women are destructive. This is because in the poem the mistress is known a Porphyria, which is a type of deadly disease. I think that the poet, indirectly calling her Porphyria...

    Read More
  • How Does Faulks Tell The Story In Pages 243

    ...How does Faulks tell the story in pages 243-250 of ‘Birdsong’? In pages 243-250, Faulks uses the character of Elizabeth to introduce a new section of the story, England 1978. In this section Faulks uses third person narrative to tell the story from Elizabeth’s perspective in order to give an omniscient approach. Faulks uses third perso...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.