Porphyria's Lover Character Analysis

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Porphyria’s Lover Character Analysis Desperate times call for desperate measures is a saying often used to justify one’s actions after an attempt to salvage an extreme situation. A person will do anything and everything in their power to make one moment last as long as they possibly can. In the poem Porphyria’s Lover, the narrator kills Porphyria because he wants to preserve the perfect moment between them and feels as if he has granted Porphyria’s one wish. He so desperately wants to live forever in the moment with his darling Porphyria that he transforms from her lover into her insane murderer. In the beginning of the poem Porphyria’s Lover, the narrator is just that, Porphyria’s lover. The narrator and Porphyria have a relationship that is kept secret between only those two, but evidence in the poem proves that they are both comfortable and dedicated to it. In the text, it says that Porphyria “shut the cold out and the storm” (7). This shows that she was dedicated to the relationship by bracing the freezing cold and a storm that was so bad that the poem states “it tore the elm-tops down for spite, and did its worse to vex the lake” (3-4). She would not have traveled through a storm to be with someone that she suspected of being crazy. The narrator also tells us in the poem that Porphyria was “murmuring how she loved me” (21). This proves that they were not just simply involved, but were in love. The poem shows that Porphyria was comfortable with the narrator by stating “she put my arm about her waist” (16). If Porphyria had suspected her lover of being psychotic, she would not have made him put his arm around her or showed much affection toward him at all. Had the narrator been strange throughout their entire relationship, Porphyria would not have acted the way she did. Not only is there evidence to support that they are comfortable in their relationship, but the text also suggests that the narrator slowly started to realize that Porphyria would someday


Cited: Browning, Robert. “Porphyria’s Lover.” Poetry X. Ed. Jough Dempsey. 16 Jun 2003. 19 Feb. 2014

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