Porphyria's Lover And Neutral Tone Analysis

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“Porphyria’s Lover” & “Neutral Tones”: The Sinister Similarities of the Speakers The loss of a loved one is perhaps the most difficult experience that humans ever come up against. The poem “Porphyria’s Lover”, written by Robert Browning, adds a sense of irony to this. At the most superficial layer, the speakers in both “Porphyria’s Lover” and “Neutral Tones”, written by Thomas Hardy, both deal with loss. The tones in “Neutral Tones” seem to be indifferent, or Neutral. The speaker of “Porphyria’s Lover” ends up murdering his beloved at the end the poem. While this isn’t the case with the speaker in “Neutral Tones”, the two speakers are much more similar than we might think. The speaker in “Neutral Tones” doesn’t outright murder his lover, …show more content…
While the speaker in “Porphyria’s lover” is certainly not devoid of passion or emotion, he views the relationship to be empty of life, or dead. The evidence to support this claim comes from two occurrences. Firstly, the detail that he felt so strongly, and had such a fiery passion towards Porphyria. The poem is riddled with quotes that show his passion, but “Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss” (48) fully encompasses his extreme passion. At this point in the poem Porphyria is dead, and even after death, he felt so strongly as to give her a “burning kiss.” Secondly, the fact that he murdered Porphyria, someone he felt so strongly about, shows there had to be a very good reason behind it. He felt as though she had stopped loving him at this point. “Too weak, for all her heart 's endeavour, To set its struggling passion free From pride, and vainer ties dissever, And give herself to me for ever.” (22-25) support that she had not reciprocated the love at this point in time. While it might have been an act of anger, he felt that he needed to preserve the passion that was once there which is why he chose to kill her. The way he views the current relationship between him and Porphyria is a striking resemblance to the “Neutral Tones” …show more content…
Possibly the most pronounced similarity between the two poems, however, is the individual speakers in both poems. The relationships, motivations, and overall attributes of the two speakers were practically indistinguishable. Even though the 16 line poem “Neutral Tones” was significantly shorter, the information held its own against the 60 line poem “Porphyria’s Love.” I was extremely surprised by this and was fascinating just how much content there was to draw from. One might overlook just how important the voice, drive, and characteristics of the speaker actually are. It is important to note the difference between author and speaker in these poems. Thankfully the views and values of the speaker in these poems do not reflect the ideals of the poets themselves. The Speakers of these two magnificent poems, while dark, are riveting characters, especially when compared to one

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