Porphyria 's Lover By Robert Browning Essay

1803 Words Dec 16th, 2016 8 Pages
Porphyria’s Lover is a short dramatic monologue written by Robert Browning in 1836. For the duration of this essay I will refer to the speaker of the poem using male pronouns, as it best supports my argument if he is male. The poem’s plot centres around the speaker; his lover; her murder and the speaker’s telling of the events. I believe that this is poem hinges on the speaker’s fragile masculinity.
The most striking feature of this poem is the speaker, who is undeniably suffering from extreme mental illness and is almost certainly a psychopath. Of course, the plot implies this by the very fact that he murders his lover, however there is much more evidence to support this claim, such as the language and imagery used. To begin, the speaker sets the scene by describing the wet, windy weather; weather violent enough to tear “the elm-tops down” and “vex the lake” (1-4). This could be described as pathetic fallacy; the speaker projecting his own misery and violence onto the inanimate weather. For this reason, the opening 4 lines could even be described as foreshadowing to the aforementioned murder.
The language used to describe the weather in line 1 is abnormal, “the rain set early in tonight” implies that the rain was always going to set, it was just a matter of when. In this line the rain may be referring to the speaker’s own ominous thoughts – destined to join him at some point throughout the night, but when? Furthermore, the very fact that the speaker attributes these…

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