Similarities And Differences In My Last Duchess And Porphyria's Lover Analysis

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The Similarities and Differences in My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover

'My Last Duchess' and 'Porphyria's Lover' are poems written by Robert
Browning in the form of a dramatic monologue. They both contain themes
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Both men waited for the women to show their love and loyalty first ('When no voice replied...put my arm about her waist...made her smooth white shoulder bare').

Porphyria was seductive, she 'put [his] arm around her waist', made her shoulder 'bare' and was of a higher ranking compared to her Lover whist the duchess was down to Earth, appreciative of everything and according to the Duke, was of a lower ranking, as she was a woman and he believed she 'lowered' herself. Both women felt comfortable with their lovers', they felt secure as their lovers' showed no indication of their discontempt for their behavior. The Lover felt as if
Porphyria was a coward, the repetition of her yellow hair emphasizes this (yellow is portrayed as cowardice), not wanting to give herself fully to him, 'she Too weak'. The Duke believed the Duchess was too simple for him, unlike the Lover, the Duchess was not important to him. He has a need to control things and people, like his wife. This is revealed through the following lines

'Oh, sir, she smiled, no doubt,

Whene'er I passed her; but who passed
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'Am quite sure she felt no pain',
'Laugh'd the blue eyes without a stain', 'her cheek once more Blush'd beneath my burning kiss', in these lines, the Lover seems to try to justify his actions by reassuring himself that Porphyria did not feel any pain, and that she is happier now, as her 'darling one wish' was granted. The Duke was bitter and suspicious, apprehensive of the painter and his wife, and of the way she 'thanked men'. His voice showed his need to control his wife, to stop her undesirable behavior. At the end of the monologue, the Duke is polite and persuasive, claiming that he likes the count, his 'known munificence' and his daughter, who he is interested in not only for the 'dowry'. He is arrogant, like the
Lover, towards the few final lines, and refers to the counts daughter as his 'object', while admiring a sculpture created for him; showing the pompous aspect of his character.

In the beginning of the poem, the Lovers' tone is cold, hostile and annoyed portrayed through words like 'sullen', 'spite' and 'vex'. When
Porphyria appears, his attitude becomes obsessive and appreciative, as he watches her every movement as she 'glides' around the

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