In the Browning poem "Porphyria's Lover," the characterization of the narrator is direct, as the reader hears his voice. Browning establishes the characterization of the narrator slowly. At first, the reader only sees Porphyria, as she comes in from the stormy night and stokes the fire; then, she puts the narrator's arm around her waist, bares her shoulder, and lets her yellow hair fall about her. The narrator takes no action throughout this part of the poem, so the characterization builds slowly. It is only once Porphyria declares her love for the narrator, and he knows that this love will not last, that he strangles her with her beautiful hair. Browning establishes the narrator's character from this one horrible act, as the lover then opens her eyes, unwinds her hair from her neck, and props her head on her shoulders. The entire characterization of the narrator is based on this act of violence, followed by a few tender gestures. We never know anything else about him, save his desire to preserve Porphyria's love forever.