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Porphyrias Lover and My Last Duchess Compare the two poems Porphyrias Lover and My Last Duchess by Robert Browning What do they reveal about attitudes to women and relationships in the nineteenth century Robert Browning was one of the greatest poets of the nineteenth century In 1842 he published Dramatic Lyrics which included the two poems Porphyrias Lover and My Last Duchess In Porphyrias Lover Browning gives the reader a dramatic insight into the twisted mind of an abnormally possessive lover who wishes the moment of love to last forever In this essay Porphyrias Lover will be compared to Robert Brownings other dramatic monologue My Last Duchess where an Italian aristocrat reveals his cruelty to his late wife whilst showing off a portrait of her to one of his guests Robert Brownings poems Porphyrias Lover and My Last Duchess were both written in the form of a dramatic monologue Both poems show a similarity because they are both narrated from the male lovers point of view As a result the reader becomes more closely involved in the poems and can feel very strong emotions for the individuals portrayed than if the poem was written from the eyes of an outsider This form of writing enables Browning to use irony in which the real meaning is concealed or contradicted by the literal meanings of the words For example in My Last Duchess the Duke orders the death of his wife though hides the true meaning in his words Much the same smile This grew I gave commands Then all smiles stopped together My Last Duchess is also written in the form of a single stanza poem which is the unit of a poem that consists of two or more lines of verse organised according to the content and form and usually repeated as a recurring pattern in the poem By contrast Porphyrias Lover does not follow this pattern but has
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