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Porphyria's Lover

Robert Browning

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Added by: michelle
In the line 'But passion sometimes would prevail'- in ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ it seems to suggest that this love is a secretive love rather than an open love perhaps because of their class differences. I think Porphyria would be of a higher class as we hear of her cloak, shawl, gloves and hat which a woman of a higher class would wear, her hair is evidently tied back as she later takes it down. Also the fact that Porphyria is sneaking to the cottage suggests this, as she is evidently going to her lovers house which is therefore a cottage, and this is not grand at all.

The setting of the scene plays a large part in ‘Porphyria’s Lover.’ It sets up for bad things to come as it creates an evil atmosphere. I find that the weather also mimics the Lovers mood through personification. First it is ‘sullen’, this is just like how he is when Porphyria enters, but underneath it all he is rather violent, just like the weather as it ‘tore down elm-trees’ and ‘vex the lake’.
Added by: zara
I think that the poem's title makes you think straight away about the lover. The lover wanted to be in control, thats why he killed her. At the begining porphyria is the active lover and then the table turns so the lover ends up being the active character in the poem.So i think the whole poem is about mens power over women.
Thank Ya!
Added by: Jessy Hofferman
I just wanna thank ya'll for everythang that ya'll said. I aint' really got my own apinion on the matter, but I sure do appreciate your comments. Ya'll Realy Smart!!
About the poem, Porphyria`s Lover
Added by: Tonia
At first I didn't know why the speaker killed Porohyia, but after reading everybody's comments, I started to think that he killed her because he loved her and he wanted to her to be his. But still it is hard to understand why he had to kill her. I can tell from his poem that he is very possesive. I think at the very first line he does feel guilty of what he did. But at the same time he feels free because now he now that she will be with him forever. It is kind of a sad story. I also think that she knew that he was going to kill her, that is why she didn't struggle. She let him kill her because she loves him, too.
Added by: El Barto Smogg
To fully understand this poem we need to be aware of the growing 'women-debate' in the 19th century. For the first time in English society, women started to demand the same rights as men. The victorian times witnessed the prelude to feminism. This poem deals with the new powerbalane between men and women.
A lot of you have remarked that the speaker of the poem kills the woman because she is the active force in their relationship. The man is the passive one, but he wants to be the one in control. Therefore he kills her.
The last line is very haunting. The speaker expects God to say a word to him. I think he even expects the approval of God, for in the bible it is said that man must be master over woman. As the speaker of the poem has singlehandedly restored the old powerbalance between men and women, he should be rewarded. At least that's what he thinks.
Lastely, a remark to the above post. I don't think the woman approved of being killed at all. We must not forget that this poem is a dramatic monologue and that all the information we get, we get grom the speaker of the poem, who may or may not speak the truth. When he claims: 'no pain had she', we must not believe that. Of course she had pain. Of course she struggled.
By deciding - against reality - that the women didn't feel any pain, the man gives himself control, not only of their relationship, but also of the women's thoughts and feelings.
Added by: Susi
I have to agree with James on the socio-economic status of Porphyria in contrast with her lover. Would also have to disagree with Jeremy about the reason for Porphyria's murder: he kills her in order to freeze that perfect moment for ever...rather like keats 'Ode on (or is it 'to' I can never remember) a Grecian Urn'. At that moment he believes she loves him ( I don't) and, in killing her at that moment, she will always love him.
The key
Added by: Porphyrias Lover
The key to unlocking Robert Brownings poem is simple:

xx's will understand completely and instantly.

xy's can deliberate, pontificate, and extrapolate 'till their hearts are content, but will never fully understand.

I say with respect, just as the equal amount of truths are known by the xy's and will confound the xx's for eternity
Porphyria's Lover
Added by: Katie
I think that the poem doesn't involve Porphryia's virginity. Her lover wishes to posses her, her virginint was an obstacle in his way. She overcame that. His issue was that only he should posses her. Robert Browning's poems deal with dominant men, this is another example. The lover's repetition of her previous actions ( heads on shoulders) shows that he is dominant to her. His killing her is not so much about her losing her virginity, but about that only he should possess it.
all wrong
Added by: crystal
This is what the poem is about. He has that one moment where she loves him purely, and he never wants that moment tarnished, ruined or to even end. So he strangles the life from her to preserve that moment and her love for him. It really isnt that hard.
Added by: Lisa G.
I agree with Crystal completely. I also see nothing complex about this poem. It has nearly the same theme as "My Last Duchess," after all.

Also, I was confused by an above comment. Females have the xx chromosome, males have the xy. I have a feeling the commenter meant it the other way around, so I am basing what I want to say on his intention, not what he actually said. I have to reply because his comment was begging for one.

While it's true that most xx's probably would not be able to relate to the anti-hero of this poem, who murders someone he claims to love, whose only crime was loving him back, that doesn't render them incapable of fully understanding this poem. I think xx's understand xy's far better than xy's understand xx's.

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