A Comparison of My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover Essay

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A Comparison of My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover

Robert Browning was born on May 7, 1812 in Camberwell. The majority of his education came from his father who worked as a bank clerk. In 1828 he enrolled at the university of London, but soon left as he found he was happier learning at his own pace. Robert tried to become a playwright as well as a poet but he was unsuccessful. In 1846 Robert Browning married Elizabeth Barrett who was also a poet. He settled down with her in Florence, but then moved to London when she died in 1861. It was then that he wrote some of his finest poetry.

Both 'Porphyrias Lover' and 'My Last Duchess' are written in single stanza form but have a different rhyme
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'My Last Duchess' is quite formal which in itself is chilling as the first person speaker calmly explains how he has his wife killed when he discovers that he is not the only joy in her life "Then all smiles stopped together".

'Porphyrias lover' is about a man who is completely obsessed with his lover, called Porphyria. The man could never bear to see Porphyria leave so in an attempt to preserve her and the moment with her, he strangles her, "All her hair in one yellow string I wound three times her little throat around and strangled her". The fact that he strangles her is of course important. The way he does it however is more so. The lover does it in such a calm, calculated way, it is as if to him that was how it had to be, that there was no alternative and that he was doing what he had to do. To me 'Porphyrias lover' was a great success especially the impact caused as the lover without showing any signs of remorse, strangles Porphyria. This shows his feelings of obsession and possessiveness

'My last Duchess' is a poem about a very arrogant and egotistic duke who is showing his friend around his art gallery and in particular the portrait done by Fra Pandolf of his former wife. As the poem progresses we see how the Duke in his arrogance believed he owned his wife, that she

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