Comparing the Male Characters of Porphyria’s Lover and My Last Duchess

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Comparing the Male Characters of Porphyria’s Lover and My Last Duchess The creation of a plausible character within literature is one of the most difficult challenges to a writer, and development to a level at which the reader identifies with them can take a long time. However, through the masterful use of poetic devices and language Browning is able to create two living and breathing characters in sixty or less lines. When one examines these works one has to that they are quite the achievements for they not only display the persona’s of two distinct men but also when compared show large differences while dealing with essentially the same subject. A brief examination of the structural aspects of “Porphyria’s Lover” is needed…show more content…
However, what is more important is that the words that are polysyllabic are quiet and unassuming. They do not break the tense tranquility of the piece. Burrows points out that, Much of the force of the narrative lies in its almost naïve simplicity and in the corresponding quiet, matter-of-fact tone of voice, a tone which in effect is not shouting ‘Horrible murder! Read all about it!’ but murmuring, ‘I am going to tell you a nice little bedtime story.’ (Burrrows, page 53) Despite the fact that the metrical pattern is often strayed from, some lines contain 3 or 5 stresses, the poem is rhythmically appealing. According to Burrows, “[the poem] suggests the accents and modulations of speech and also remains quietly unemphatic.” (page 56) A similar analysis of “My Last Duchess” is also needed before the two can be compared adequately. The frigid decorum of the Duke is established by the imperceptible, but unfailing, rhyming couplets. The inability for the reader to notice these during recital of the poem is due to the extreme prevalence of enjambment within the work. According to Burrows, “It is decidedly the ‘open’ couplet that he uses, and there are many ‘run-on’ lines since syntactical pauses rarely coincide with couple-endings or line endings.” (page 116) The meter of the poem is iambic pentameter though the rhythm feels more irregular due to the deliberate disregard for the formal couplet pattern. This also creates the

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