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Compare And Contrast Porphyrias Lover And My Last Duchess

541 words - 3 pages

“Compare and contrast two poems that deal with the issue of love”

This essay will compare and contrast ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ which is about a psychotic Lover who murders his female Lover with ‘My Last Duchess’ which is about a Duke who invites his fiancées intermediary and talks about his previous wife, Both poems deal with the issue of love.

(S)Both ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ are monologues. In ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ the Lover narrates the story and in ‘My Last Duchess’ the Duke narrates.(E) Examples of their narrations are seen throughout, in ‘My Last Duchess’ the Duke talks and says ‘that’s my last Duchess painted on the wall’, and in ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ ...view middle of the document...

‘My Last Duchess’ is also biased when the Duke says, ‘But who passed without much the same smile?’ here the Duke implies that his preceding duchess not only smiled at men but also slept with them, (D) these are the Dukes thoughts and cannot be proven and in some cases these thoughts still cloud the readers judgement and the reader perceives women in the Victorian era as prostitutes and whores. This biased detail of both poems brings doubt and mystery to the reader; the poems also show the personalities of the men as paranoid, self-centred and controlling. This gives an overall bad image on men in the Victorian epoch because the poems mention both upper-class and lower-class citizens, the upper-class citizen being the Duke and the lower-class citizen being the Lover. The poems also show the status women were and how they were seen at the time of the Duke and the Lover.

Enjambment is also continuously used in ‘My Last Duchess’, in this case browning uses enjambment to make it look like the duke is conversing with another person (the intermediary), ‘Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now;’ this gives a subtle driving force behind the Duke's compulsive revelations; ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ does not use enjambment because in the poem the Lover is addressing the readers not another figure from the poem, there is no repetition used in any of the poems and there is no continuous rhythm.

‘Porphyria’s Lover’ is about an obsessed and jealous lover who murders his intimate partner when she affirms her love for him, ‘My Last Duchess’ is also about a jealous man who has his wife murdered but this man is of higher authority.

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