One of the hallmarks of Victorian culture was sexual restraint and an overarching sobriety of conduct. Porphyria's Lover by Robert Browning Poetry Foundation agenda angle-down angle-left angleRight arrow-down arrowRight bars calendar caret-down cart children highlight learningResources list mapMarker openBook p1 pin poetry-magazine print quoteLeft quoteRight slideshow tagAudio tagVideo teens trash-o. The poetry follows an extremely regular meter of iambic tetrameter four iambic feet per line , with a regular rhyme scheme. Despite his elaborate justifications for his act, he has, in fact, committed murder, and he expects God to punish him or, at least, to take notice. Porphyria: Porphyria is portrayed as a beautiful young woman with fair skin and long fair hair.
No pain felt she; I am quite sure she felt no pain. After he kills her, he convinces himself that she felt no pain. Alternatively, the decision to kill her may be one that he has made on the spot, carried away as he is in the moment. A madman who has perhaps, killed in the past to indulge his own fetish of possession and owner ship over another human being. To be compliant with social roles, the speaker commits this terrible murder. He has very obsessive love for her.
Browning gives the poem a Victorian gothic setting. Browning's audience enjoyed these poems very much as horror was a popular genre for the Victorians. Perhaps he is deluded he may, after all, be mad , or perhaps he is lying to us and Porphyria does not worship or love him. His act of love burdens and renders him unable to relinquish his love just yet. She is a lady of some standing, used to wearing a cloak, shawl and gloves.
The speaker lives in a cottage in the countryside. His actions were ethically right and not one God from any religion would disagree and punish him for it. The speaker in a dramatic monologue is generally suspicious as they are not immediately forthcoming with aspects of their personality or actions. In the beginning of this poem the writer is explaining how he is watching a powerful storm with a lot of wind that is taking place outside of his home. Browning uses his language techniques to portray the narrators controlling character and insanity. This proves that he did not do it out of anger or revenge.
However her death does not stop his feelings towards her or his sexual desires. Although this male does not want all the complications that come along with commitment, he does not want or intend to lose Porphyria, which he fears he would if she knew his true and selfish feelings. After reading Porphyria's Lover a few time and hearing it read helped me understand it a little better. In 'Porphyria's Lover' the Lover is speaking directly to the reader, conveying his thoughts, personifying the weather perhaps emphasizing his unhappiness 'the sullen wind. He then spends the night with her lifeless body. At first Porphyria is active and dominant while her lover is passive.
To capture the perfect moment forever, the eccentric lover decides something strange and winds her golden hair three times around her neck and kills her. For the middle class, Victorian parties were opportunities to make social connections, maintain relationships, and gain social power. Dramatic Monologue Robert Browning did not invent the dramatic monologue but he is the most famous user of the form. The man doth protest too much: somehow the surety of the second line with its repeated assertion of a painless death weakens rather than strengthens the claim in the first. Porphyria, with her overt sexuality, represents the kind of woman the Victorians shunned.
When glided in Porphyria; straight She shut the cold out and the storm, And kneel'd and made the cheerless grate Blaze up, and all the cottage warm; Which done, she rose, and from her form Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl, And laid her soil'd gloves by, untied Her hat and let the damp hair fall, And, last, she sat down by my side And call'd me. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Browning gives the poem a Victorian gothic setting. That Porphyria leaves this happy party in order to go to her lover is a sign of her social deviance; she abandons this social ritual because her passion and love for this man are more important. Language The speaker uses diminutives to describe Porphyria, showing that he views her as small and less powerful than himself. To him this moment is perfect and he then starts to wrap her beautiful yellow hair around her next three times and strangles her.
The speaker takes us from one extreme —love to another- murder all with his thoughts. In this line of thought lies the key to understanding much of Browning's poetry: his sense of subjective truth. Upon first reading the poem, it puzzled me as to why the narrator would murder such a beautiful woman. No pain felt she; I am quite sure she felt no pain. This made him feel good, the fact that she worshiped him made his insecurity lead to sadistic domination. However, once Porphyria enters, the poem moves to a more explicitly sexual place — notice the imagery as she undresses and dries herself — that suddenly equates those natural forces with the human forces of sexuality. She makes fire in the fireplace and takes off her wet cloak and gloves.