Compare and Contrast Porphyrias Lover and My Last Duchess

Compare and Contrast Porphyrias Lover and My Last Duchess

  • Submitted By: aqibk
  • Date Submitted: 12/05/2010 3:27 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 505
  • Page: 3
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“Compare and contrast two poems that deal with the issue of love”

This essay will compare and contrast ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ which is about a psychotic Lover who murders his female Lover with ‘My Last Duchess’ which is about a Duke who invites his fiancées intermediary and talks about his previous wife, Both poems deal with the issue of love.

(S)Both ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ are monologues. In ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ the Lover narrates the story and in ‘My Last Duchess’ the Duke narrates.(E) Examples of their narrations are seen throughout, in ‘My Last Duchess’ the Duke talks and says ‘that’s my last Duchess painted on the wall’, and in ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ the Lover talks and says, ‘She worshipped me’.(E) Browning effectively uses these monologues in each poem to create a biased account of what events took place, only the murderers narrate and the victims are not able to give input with their side of the story, an example of bias in ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ is when the Lover says, ‘no pain felt she’, here he is referring to when he murders his Lover, he claims that she felt no pain but surely a person who is murdered slowly feels pain. ‘My Last Duchess’ is also biased when the Duke says, ‘But who passed without much the same smile?’ here the Duke implies that his preceding duchess not only smiled at men but also slept with them, (D) these are the Dukes thoughts and cannot be proven and in some cases these thoughts still cloud the readers judgement and the reader perceives women in the Victorian era as prostitutes and whores. This biased detail of both poems brings doubt and mystery to the reader; the poems also show the personalities of the men as paranoid, self-centred and controlling. This gives an overall bad image on men in the Victorian epoch because the poems mention both upper-class and lower-class citizens, the upper-class citizen being the Duke and the lower-class citizen being the Lover. The poems also show the status women were and how they...

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