Comparison of ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ Essay

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‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ are both poems by the Victorian poet Robert Browning. In this essay I will compare these two poems to find similarities and differences. Both of these poems can be used read from different points of view and they could also be used to show how society treated women in the Nineteenth Century: as assets, possessions. Both of these poems are what are known as a dramatic monologue as well as being written in the first person. The whole poem is only one stanza long, and each line in the stanza comprises of eight syllables. ‘My Last Duchess’ is about a member of the nobility talking to an ambassador concerning his last wife, who later on in the poem is revealed to have been murdered by the person…show more content…
The Dramatic Monologue in ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ helps build tension, horror and suspense because only one character is talking, making it a one-sided story. After he tells us about himself, the way he very unexpectedly killed Porphyria shocked and surprised me. However, the dramatic monologue in ‘My Last Duchess’ is very interesting simply because one of the main characters in absent throughout the whole poem, making us want to learn first-hand about them, and actually see if they were actually like the way they were described. ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ is set in a cottage. The weather is windy and rainy but improves when Porphyria enters the cottage. In contrast, ‘My Last Duchess’ is set in an opulent, extravagant palace belonging to a wealthy duke. The settings in both poems are established by using descriptive language, similes, a few metaphors and use of detail such as the way he uses the painting to describe the painting. There is also use of pathetic fallacy. ‘Gay Feast’ in ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ hints at Porphyria’s other life, her main one; the one in which she is wealthy, beautiful, elegant and of high social standing. We can safely presume that her social standing is higher than that of the narrator, and this may anger him. However, in ‘My Last Duchess,’ I thought it was even more shocking
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