Both ‘My Last Duchess’ and ‘Porphyria's Lover’ Are Dramatic Monologues About Murder but They Have Very Different Protagonists. How Does Browning Guide the Readers Response to the Two Murderers?

647 Words Jan 22nd, 2011 3 Pages
Robert Browning's poems 'Porphyria's Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' are both about psychotic men who kill their lovers. However, the men differ in their motives as Porphyria’s murder could be considered to be done out of love whereas the dukes murder is one of jealousy. This heavily influences our feeling towards the two men, as the duke is a bitter misogynist compared to Porphyria’s ‘Tender murderer’. Dramatic monologue by definition is a piece of performed writing that offers great insight into the feelings of the speaker, which is exactly how Browning uses them by eliminating the aspect of a narrator he is able to influence the readers opinion on the key speaker more effectively
Throughout ‘My Last Duchess’ browning is intentionally
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This grew; I gave commands then all smiles stopped together” this is also an alliteration, which increases the sinister atmosphere and emphasises his enjoyment of the fact that he has had his Duchess murdered its this cowardly act which no doubt influences the readers final opinion on the Duke.
Porphyria’s Lover on the other hand differs from My Last Duchess, as Porphyria’s Lover is a far more emotional poem compared to the sinister My Last Duchess. Porphyria’s Lover opens with a scene taken straight from the Romantic poetry of the earlier nineteenth century. While a storm rages outdoors, the setting of the scene plays a large part in ‘Porphyria’s Lover.’ It sets up for bad things to come as it creates an evil atmosphere. I find that the weather also mimics the Lovers mood through personification. First it is ‘sullen’, this is just like how he is when Porphyria enters, but underneath it all he is rather violent, just like the weather as it ‘tore down elm-trees’ and ‘vex the lake’. His love for Porphyria is the reason for the shocking impact of the murder, which contrasts with My Last Duchess, as throughout the poem there were clues of the Duchess’s impending murder. Once again Browning is using the dramatic monologue to show the psychological insanity of the main protagonist
The Destination of both poems is a psychological study of possession whether it be the Duke’s possession of the painting and his Duchess or Porphyria’s anonymous

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