Comparing the two poems Porphyria’s Lover and My Last Duchess

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By comparing the two poems Porphyria’s Lover and My Last Duchess, explore how Browning deals worth the theme of jealousy.

Jealousy is a theme that occurs quite regularly in Browning’s poems.
This was particularly noticed in both of the poems ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ where in both cases, the male protagonists were jealous of the extra attention that their lovers received from other admirers. When studying both poems, the reader can create in their mind a vivid picture of both the female characters. However, because the male protagonists gave their view on their lovers, the reader is only given details about the male protagonists’ feelings, not about his features or qualities. Because of this, it needs to be
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The poet makes the murder of Porphyria sound very peaceful and calm. It is clear to the reader that the male protagonist cannot bear the thought of not having Porphyria with him and wants to stay with
Porphyria in this way forever. Because of the way Browning portrays
Porphyria’s lover’s feelings, the reader can almost sympathise with the way that the male protagonist is feeling even in the event of
Porphyria’s murder, ‘all her hair in one long string I wound, three times her little throat around and strangled her’. With Browning creating such a big build up to Porphyria’s murder and explaining it in detail, the reader recognises that this dramatic event does mean a lot to the male protagonist and Browning makes sure that this is the key event in the poem, and that it does not go unnoticed.

In ‘My Last Duchess’ the relationship between the Duke and the Duchess seems a lot less passionate and the reader could get the impression that the two characters falsely pretend to love each other when in fact, the truth is the opposite. This impression could be made by the reader because the Duke describes the Duchess as a pleasant person to look at but he feels as if the Duchess takes him for granted and she is not grateful for the luxuries she receives as a result of her husband’s popularity. This is shown on lines 32-34, ‘Somehow- I know not how- as if she ranked my gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
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