[Skip Navigation]

Plagiarist Poetry Sites: Plagiarist.com | Poetry X | Poetry Discussion Forums | Open Poetry Project | Joycean.org
Enter our Poetry Contest
Win Cash and Publication!

Visitors' Comments about:

Porphyria's Lover

Robert Browning

Add a new comment.

Added by: essie
does any of you know that porphyria is a disease. The people suffering from this disease lack a certain proteine in their blood. which causes their skin to deteriarate very rapidly and they get very big wounds on their face. So in his imagination the speaker is killing the disease porphyria so his love can stay beautiful for ever.
porphyria's lover
Added by: anonomous
obviously porphyrias is a illlness which relates a disease of madness. this is why porphyrias lover think that the only way eternnal passion may be accomplished is thorugh death. out of interests what would be significant contrasts between porphyrias lover and mariana
the relationship
Added by: Megan
I think it's clear that Porphyria and her lover had a relationship (including sexual) long before he killed her. And when she walked into his cabin he started imagining her coming on to him when in fact she was there to break up the affair. (she "glided" into the cabin from the storm outside? and a victorian woman would not undress herself in that manner)When he realized what she was telling him he became enraged that he was never going to "have" her again and killed her in an effort to preserve their love.
Added by: nerdqueen
What love affair, once consummated, does not begin to fade? Romantic love's purest and most exciting stage is that before reciprocation. After this, the excitement, the infatuation, begin to wane. To kill your lover at the very moment of reciprocation, to never have known consummation, would preserve the state of infatuation indefinitely. There is no greater love than the one lost. There is no greater longing than that for something which one can never have.
Added by: matt
In Rober Browning's Poem "Porphyrias Lover" he shows the aspect of a males intuition to dominate a women and take complete control over her. He impicates these images when he describes her eyes as a "shut bud that holds a bee." He, the botanist, must protect her eyes, the flower, from being harmed by the bee. The bee with its stinger, a phalyc symbol, could represent a man and he being the botanist must keep her away from other men.
Open your eyes
Added by: Will B
"Murmuring how she loved me-she-too weak, for all her hearts endevor, to set its struggling passion free from pride, and vainer ties dissever, and give herself to me forever."

Check it - he resents her because she wont marry him because of their class diffences. This difference between them manifests in its self in her acting like she's better than him. ("from pride") Most of the comments got half the answer. He kills her because he resents her pride and vanity and wishes to preserve her as she is at that moment - pure.
porphyrias lover
Added by: sarah
I'm studying porphyrias lover at the moment for my higher english course, Ive read a few of the other posts that say the name has to do with the disease. However, i dont think it has anything to with this, the disease was named after the poem was written. Also, i think the lover convinces himself that she loves him "at last i knew Porphyria worshipped me", but also realises that he'll never have her forever because of her "vainer ties". He then convinces himself that what she wants is to be with him forever, but thats just what he wants. If she loved him as deeply and passionately as he describes, she would have forgotten her higher status and been with him in the first place. Its just a perfect example of unequal relationships:
one person sees the other as basically just a bit on the side,
the other wants a lot more.
The one who wants more, is going to try and make sure the toher stays with them, but in this poem, Porphyrias lover goes to the extreme, by killing her to keep her with him.He justifies this by convincing himself its what she wants, and believing that because no action had been taken by God to punish him for what he did straight away, that God doesn't mind what he did to Porphyria
Added by: Keira
If you read about this poem, you will find that Browning said himself that it was proof that the antinomian heresy was wrong. "madness" even.
For those who don't know, the Antinomians believed that nothing you did on earth, good or evil, would send you to Hell. It was the belief that you would be sent to Heaven even if you committed as heinous a crime as the madman in this poem has.
This is the true meaning of the last line. "God has not said a word", it is daring the antinomians to believe that this man will not be punished for his actions.
Added by: Keira
Just another comment here, i think people are forgetting the composer of the poem. It is all very well to analyse the actions of the characters, but it is BROWNING who is making a statement with this poem, not Porphyria or her lover. It does show a change in the ways of thinking of the century that Porphyria is treated sympathetically, the "woman question" was beginning, and Browning is questioning the man's right to dominate a woman. He does not have any answers to the problem, he does not give her a chance to oppose the oppression, but he does acknowledge a problem is there and encourages the reader to agree with his point of view... That Porphyria is the victim of a society where men are allowed to treat women as chattels.
As to the comment about Andrea Del Sarto.. I wouldn't say that he dominates his wife. He seems quite helpless while she acts like the town bicycle (to be crude). She has the control over the situation.. but that poem is irrelevant to this one.
I think the most important line is still the last, and if you wish to know the true meaning then look up what Browning wrote about the Antinomian Heresy in the Monthly Repository where this poem was first published. It is the key to understanding the poem.
Sorry I prattled on for so long!
prostitute porphyria?
Added by: Faye
could it be that porphyria's lover has been driven insane by the fact that he/she knows that porphyria is a prostitute? the frustration of knowing they are not the only one that porphyria claims to love could lead to immense jealousy, resulting in maddness. in this state, the lover has strangled porphyria to make sure no one else can have her bar him/her. its possible...maybe!!!

» Add a new comment.

« Return to the poem page.