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Word Count: 887
Romantic writers often held interesting philosophies of sexuality On one hand they were taught to believe that sensual things were sinful while on the other hand they were constantly confronted with sexuality in everyday life Robert Browning is one of the most renowned Romantic poets who often explored the issue of sexuality In his dramatic poem Porphyrias Lover Browning demonstrates a malicious intertwining of violence morals masculinity and sexuality His use of setting gender roles and transgression illustrate this point Romanticism is partially characterized by its longing to return to a leisurely peaceful private era in which society is not confined in an urban setting In the beginning of the poem the setting is perfectly romantic a cottage by a lake a roaring storm and perfect seclusion As the depiction of the setting is complete Porphyria enters soiled from the storm The woman comes from the woods having escaped from a party to see her lover Here Browning is equating the woman to nature The two are traditionally compared to one another for their purity and beauty This sets the model for what a woman should be When Porphyria comes to see her lover she is concerned with physical intimacy First she performed a nineteenth century striptease for her loverWithdrew the dripping cloak and shawl And laid her soild gloves by untiedHer hat and let the damp hair fall Porphyria is taunting her lover First taking off wet clothes then removing her gloves a very unladylike thing to do Porphyria is seducing the narrator The unwed woman then lets her hair fall in front of a man This would be the modern day equivalent to a woman taking her shirt off in public Porphyria then tries to physically entice him to come to her After no reply she goes to him and touches his waist and bears her shoulder to the narrator He is overcome with emotion and wants the moment to last forever In
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