Porphyria 's Lover By Robert Browning

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Robert Browning’s dramatic monologue entitled “Porphyria’s Lover” tells the story of a meeting between a man and a woman that begins filled with romance, but quickly turns sinister. Porphyria visits the speaker at his cottage late at night, to confess her love for him even though they cannot be together. The speaker, filled with happiness in the newfound knowledge that Porphyria “worshiped” him, kills her by strangling her with her own hair in order to free her from her “vainer ties” and allow them to be together. He then opens her eyes, props her head on his shoulder, and sits with her all night in an effort to preserve the moment (1278-1279). Perhaps one of his most controversial poems, Browning’s “Porphyria’s Lover” has been analyzed in various different ways since its publication. Some see it as the simple description of a crime committed by a madman, and others see it as an expression of the male speaker’s uncontrollable, misogyny fueled desire to possess Porphyria as an object; others still see this poem as a statement on the disadvantageous society where things such as social class and expectations are deciding factors in relationships between men and women. In “Projection and the Female Other: Romanticism, Browning, and the Victorian Dramatic Monologue,” U. C. Knoepflmacher sees the murder of Porphyria, as well as many of Browning’s other works, as the expression of a man’s desire to possess the “Female Other,” a concept that in some literary works, women are
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