How Does Browning Tell the Story in 'Porphyria's Lover' Essay

373 WordsMay 11, 20132 Pages
Browning uses personification of the weather to show how the voice’s emotions influence his views. In line 2 Browning uses the word ‘sullen’ to describe the wind, further stating in line 3 that it was strong enough the tear down trees ‘in spite’. Not only do these very visual depictions of weather set the tone of the poem (by pathetic fallacy) but they also echo the voice’s emotions because in line 5 ‘I listened with my heart fit the break’ suggests a connection between the weather he is hearing and the deep sorrow ‘heart fit to break’ he is experiencing. This is further made clear by the use of the ABABB rhyme scheme, making a clear link between nature and his emotions with the rhyming of ‘lake’ with ‘break’. However, Browning makes it clear that the voice’s perception of reality and realty may not be the same thing by the juxtaposition of the voices opinion of Porphyria and Porphyria’s actions. The voice makes Porphyria appear to be angelic ‘glided in Porphyria’ and yet later in line 17 when she ‘made her smooth white shoulder bare’ suggests Porphyria may be more seedy than the voice thinks she is. This conflict between the voices perception and actual reality shows the reader he isn’t completely sane. Furthermore, Browning’s use of an enigma in the very last line ‘And yet god has not said a word’ emphasises how Browning uses uncertainty and slight ambiguity to shape the narrative by echoing the uncertainty and confusion within the voice’s mind. The explicitness of these techniques coupled with the format of the poem (dramatic monologue) allows the reader to delve deeper into the mind of the murderer, arguably the purpose of the poem. Browning also uses repetition to create a sense of jealousy. The repetition of ‘mine, mine’ emphasises the desperation of the voice to be in control and to have ownership. Not only does this add to the narrative by increasing
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