Questions and Answers for Porphyria's Lover

Porphyria's Lover

How does Browning use imagery, figurative language, and sound qualities in "Porphyria's Lover"?

You have asked a very broad question concerning the entire length of this rather complex poem. I am going to focus on one section of this poem that gives such a rich and disturbing psychological...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2010 1:35 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

In "Porphyria's Lover," why does the narrator kill the woman he loves?

Since its first publication in 1836, the popularity of the poem “Porphyria’s Lover” among readers and critics hasn’t waned. It’s written in the form of a dramatic monologue, whose speaker describes...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2016 8:35 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

What is the narrative structure of "Porphyria's Lover"?

"Porphyria's Lover" has a linear narrative structure. The poet begins by establishing the setting: a cottage on a stormy night, where the first-person narrator is waiting for Porphyria. The...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2020 11:15 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

What is the theme of "Porphyria's Lover"?

Another theme that develops in this poem is the objectification of women. From the beginning, the speaker reduces Porphyria to her separate (and sexually exciting) body parts: her damp hair, her...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2020 12:37 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

Describe the characters of Porphyria and her lover in the poem "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning.

“Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning is a dramatic monologue. The poem’s story comes from the mind of the man who waits for Porphyria. The poem belongs to the lover and his perspective. The...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2012 4:06 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

Why the speaker in the poem"'Porphyria's Lover" kills her?

Browning's "Porphyria's Lover" is as much about power as it is love. He takes a narrative about an illicit affair and does two things with it: makes it beautiful and makes it about power. When...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2010 11:04 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

What are the characteristics of speaker, the narrator, and Porphyria in "Porphyria's Lover"?

I think you have become slightly confused between the two main characters of this excellent poem. Your question implies that there are three characters, but do not forget that the speaker and the...

Latest answer posted September 19, 2011 7:54 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

Write the critical appreciation of the poem "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning.

"Porphyria's Lover" was quite subversive for its time (and to an extent, still is) but prose writers of Browning's Victorian England were also dabbling in Gothic literature and horror. This is one...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2012 2:39 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

How does the mood of the poem change over the course of Browning's Porphyria's Lover?

The mood of the poem seems to shift with the speaker's mood. At first, the poem's mood seems to match his (or hers), but then it breaks from the speaker's mood pretty dramatically. First, he has "a...

Latest answer posted June 11, 2018 5:00 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

What does the last stanza mean in "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning?  

“Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning defies the time in which it was written. The Victorian Age was a very prudish time period; consequently, Browning’s topics were not always concerned proper...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2012 1:46 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

What has God to do with "Porphyria's Lover"? What is the meaning of the last line, "And yet God has not said a word!"

This is an excellent and intriguing question! Well done for asking it! It is important to realise that Browning in this poem creates an unreliable narrator whose words we clearly come to doubt as...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2011 7:25 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

Please explain the poem "Porphyria's Lover" stanza by stanza.

In the first five lines it describes the rainy weather outside. The wind picks up as well, and this sets the tone for the poem. The next 10 lines describe her coming inside and warming by the...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2009 4:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

In "Poryphyria's Lover," explain the lines: "to set its struggling passion free..and vanier ties dissever."

What these lines mean is that Porphyria is not able to follow her heart. Instead, she has been following what society says she must do. So she has been unable to set her heart's passion free...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2010 10:05 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

Do you think the speaker feels guilty about what he has done?

I think the only feeling the narrator really registers is that they feel "Happy and proud" to know that Porphyria loves them (I use the gender-nonspecific "them" since we do not know for certain...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2018 1:57 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

Discuss Keats's and Robert Browning's use of imagery in their poetry. I am interested in Browning's "Porphyria's...

I'll answer concerning the Browning poems you are interested in, and let another editor compare them to Keats' imagery. In "Porphyria's Lover," Browning is addressing the obsession the outwardly...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2010 3:34 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

How does "Porphyria's Lover" reflect the prudish "Victorian attitudes" of the time?

Browning has written several dramatic monologues in which the persona is mentally disturbed (My Last Duchess, etc.) This is another one in which the speaker is obviously not of sound mind. During...

Latest answer posted July 17, 2010 1:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

In "Porphyria's Lover", what does the narrator do after killing her and why? What impression do you get of the...

After the narrator killed his lover, he "propped her head up as before,/Only, this time my shoulder bore", and then sits like that, in semblance of a happy couple, happy that she is his...

Latest answer posted January 10, 2009 2:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

What is unusual about the way the narrator tells his story? How does he represent Porphyria's actions and emotions in...

The narrator's presentation of Porphyria's feelings and actions is unusual because he retains the same tone even after he's described the way he's murdered her. It happens so quickly, and he...

Latest answer posted March 16, 2016 12:52 am UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

How does Browning use literary and poetic techniques, in "My Last Duchess" and "Porphyria's Lover" to effectively...

Numerous answers to your question could be given. Far too many for a short-answer format such as this, in fact. I'll give one answer. Browning's use of a first-person speaker in both poems allows...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2010 8:31 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

In addition to being Porphyria's former lover, how would you characterize the speaker of this poem?

I would characterize the speaker of this poem as an unstable person, someone who is out of touch with reality, and a murderer. The speaker is gratified and surprised to learn that Porphyria...

Latest answer posted February 4, 2016 6:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

Why do you think the narrator in "Porphyria's Lover" does not reply to his lover when she calls him? What does this...

Porphyria's lover awaits her arrival on a rainy night, and he feels as though his heart is "fit to break"; perhaps he fears that she will not come or that she does not love him. It might even be...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2019 11:19 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

Within the poem "Porphyria's Lover," what are the issues of the day that Browning appears to be addressing in the poem?

This poem is Browning's one effort of which I'm aware that's analogous to Poe's tales. A murder is committed for no reason (not that there ever is a valid reason for murder) and it comes at the...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2019 6:35 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

Does the repetition of "mine" have a purpose do you think?

Yes! The repetition of the word "mine" in "Mine, mine fair" is significant. In repeating the word, the persona reflects backward (to "that moment she was mine") and forward (to "mine fair,/...

Latest answer posted May 26, 2007 1:29 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

What is the genre of Porphyria's lover?  

Robert Browning’s poem, “Porphyria’s Lover,” is considered a classic example of the dramatic monologue. It has a well defined speaker who cannot be identified with the poet. It is a pure monologue,...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2011 7:20 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

Who is the dominant person in the poem, "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning?

Robert Browning’s poem “Porphyria’s Lover” written in 1836 embraces the shock value of a murdered lover. Browning’s poem uses a dramatic monologue to tell the story of Porphyria and her lover....

Latest answer posted April 16, 2013 4:03 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

What is the significance of using the past tense in "Porphyria's Lover"?

This poem has an element of the confessional about it, as the narrator, the lover of Porphyria that features in the title, recounts to us what happened that evening with Porphyria and looks back on...

Latest answer posted March 17, 2011 7:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

Compare and contrast the character of the lover in "The Last Ride Together" and "Porphyria's Lover"?

Both of these poems are dramatic monologues which makes for a good comparison/contrast. The way that they are similar is that both speakers are aware that their love affair is about to end. The...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2011 8:12 pm UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

How does the writer's use of language, structure and form influence our view point in 'Porphyria's Lover'?

'Power and possession' are certainly crucial to the speaker, the Lover, but in the context of this dramatic monologue probably have less to do with the desires of men in general (and thus with...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2011 6:17 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

How does the lover in 'Porphyria's Lover' eternalise his love ?

This is one of many excellent narrative poems that Robert Browning produced featuring an unreliable narrator who, perhaps much like the unreliable narrators of Poe's work, is clearly on the edge of...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2010 6:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

How do we discover that the speaker is insane in Robert Browning's poem "Porphyria's Lover"?

Robert Browning's poem "Porphyria's Lover" is written in a genre known as the dramatic monologue, in which the narrator of the poem seems to be speaking to himself or an unknown reader or audience,...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2015 6:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

What happens in "Porphyeria's Lover" by Robert Browning? How did you react to these events?

In "Porphyria's Lover," Browning addresses the obsession the outwardly polite and prudish Victorian society had with sensational stories of horror and depravity. The themes of sex and violence and...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2010 10:45 am UTC

2 educator answers

Porphyria's Lover

What is the characterization like in "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning?

This poem is one of Browning's great dramatic monologue. The dramatic monologue is a specific type of poem in which the speaker reveals to an implied audience some relevant piece of information. In...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2019 8:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Porphyria's Lover

What role does fixation play in "Porphyria's Lover," by Robert Browning?

"Porphyria's Lover" is a narrative poem by Robert Browning. It first appeared in print in 1836. On a stormy night, the narrator's lover, named Porphyria, "glides in" to his house and makes "all...

Latest answer posted August 4, 2013 3:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

I am writing an essay on ballad poetry and I am struggling on what to write for "Porphyria's Lover." Does anyone know...

Well, if you're focusing on ballads, that's a specific form and tradition of writing, so one of the easiest approaches is to look at how the poem is an example of a ballad and what that means. For...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2007 2:48 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

How does "Porphyria's Lover" transgress from the "prudish" victorian era?

Porphyria's Lover transgresses and contravenes immensely from the "prudish" Victorian era in that it broke with every canon of spirituality, aesthetics, and social norm accepted at the time. The...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2010 5:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

What is unusual about the way the narrator tells his story? How does he represent Porphyria?

The speaker's telling of these events is unusual because he (or she) casually describes winding Porphyria's long, blonde hair around Porphyria's throat "three times" and strangling her. The speaker...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2020 12:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

How do "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess" appeal to our senses?

Browning appeals to the reader's senses in these two poems the same way poets usually appeal to a reader's senses--through imagery. That's the definition of imagery. In "Porphyria's Lover," for...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2010 3:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

What other dramatic monologue could I compare with "Porphyria's Lover" by Robert Browning?

I would strongly suggest selecting another dramatic monologue by Robert Browning. He certainly is the master of dramatic monologues, and it is clear that the various aspects of "Porphyria's Lover"...

Latest answer posted June 2, 2011 12:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

Attempt a critical appreciation of Robert Browning's 'Prophyria's Lover'.

In order to compose a critical appreciation of this poem, you will need to analyze it in terms of its figurative language, imagery, structure, and central purpose (or theme) as well as any other...

Latest answer posted August 1, 2018 1:32 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

In "Porphyria's Lover", considering when this poem was written, what risks was Porphyria taking?

There were several risks involved in Porphyria's actions.1. Her reputation. During this time period, having affairs with men was a stain on a young lady's reputation. If she was unmarried,...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2008 9:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

How do you think Browning has used the male perception to represent questions of morality in "Porphyria's Lover"? I...

This is a very interesting issue to consider in relation to this great poem and I think the subject of gender is very important in discussing the full complexities of this poem. However, at the...

Latest answer posted August 24, 2011 8:06 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

How would one write a critical analysis of Porphyria's Lover for a university level course?    

To write about Porphyria's Lover for an advanced undergraduate or graduate course, first you need to choose some salient aspect of the poem, then decide on a critical approach, then do...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2011 7:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

What is the correct pronounciation of Porphyria?

It's "por-fir-ee-aa", though sometimes mispronounced "por-fye-ree-aa". The word derives from the Greek for "purple".

Latest answer posted September 1, 2008 7:18 am UTC

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Porphyria's Lover

Why does the form/structure of dramatic monologue help the reader understand what is going on?

Both of these poems are dramatic monologues which means that the poet has created a character which then talks to us directly through the use of first person. This is interesting for the reader as...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2011 10:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Porphyria's Lover

What do "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess" reveal about the Victorian era that is worthy of our study?

My initial reaction is to say, morality and sexual represession. In other words, these poems focus the reader on questions of morality and sexuality. In My Last Duchess, the speaker, a duke,...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2010 6:38 am UTC

2 educator answers

Porphyria's Lover

What is the context of Robert Browning's "Porphyria’s Lover"?

Browning's poem takes place in a cottage during a storm at night. Porphyria, a beautiful woman with long blond hair, enters the cottage and builds a fire, a symbol of the hot passion she ignites in...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2019 2:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer