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Comparing My Last Duchess And Porphyria's Lover By Robert Browning

Decent Essays
Love is complicated. If one does not show enough affection towards his or her significant other, he or she may become extremely jealous. On the other hand, if one displays too much affection for his or her significant other, he or she may not reciprocate those same feelings and may become overwhelmed. “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning depict exactly this. Through characterization of the Duke, an unsettling mood, and a judgmental tone, Browning seeks to convey that jealousy leads to impulsive decisions in “My Last Duchess.” In “Porphyria’s Lover,” Browning utilizes characterization of the speaker, a critical tone, and a disturbing mood to demonstrate how too much affection in a relationship can be overwhelming. The characterization of the Duke in “My Last Duchess” and the characterization of the speaker in “Porphyria’s Lover” further establish Browning’s messages about love. In “My Last Duchess,” the Duke is portrayed as arrogant and believes he is superior to others. Because of his status as Duke, his arrogance becomes prevalent, as he brags about his “gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name.” He also believes he is superior to others, especially the Duchess, as…show more content…
The nonchalance of the speaker in “Porphyria’s Lover” reveals his inability to comprehend Porphyria’s extreme affection. Both speakers judgmental and critical attitudes towards women also contribute to these messages. The Duke’s impulsive decision to kill the Duchess creates an unsettling mood, and Porphyria’s unwanted affection creates a disturbing mood. Overall, Browning’s message based on both of these poems is it is best to have an equal balance of affection in any
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