Robert Browning Essay

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Robert Browning is a poet from the Victorian era with the signature style of a Dramatic Monologue, this is clearly evident in his poems ‘Porphyria’s lover’ and ‘My last Duchess’. Through the two poems Browning explores the human being in the process of seeking control, dominating or gaining ascendancy over another. Robert browning’s poetic message reflects the concerns and values of his dramatically changing world. With so many people living in such close quarters poverty, violence and sexual activity increased and Browning’s Psychological profiles explore the base and evil aspects of human motivation arising from the new conditions of urban living. Many of the historical changes that characterized the Victorian period motivated discussion and argument about the nature and role of women. women were still seen in a traditional role. Browning explores the Victorian attitudes towards the female sexuality and the patriarchal elements of his society. He uses dramatic monologue to voice the issues inherent to his context. Dominance and Power In Porphyria’s lover, the two characters in the poem are lovers, but there is obviously a great deal of tension between them, there is a sense of the speaker’s unease at Porphyria’s power. She is clearly more in charge: she is superior to him socially; she comes to see him and puts his house in order. She is a forceful presence as soon as she walks in the cottage, shown in the alliteration “she shut out the cold storm”. The speaker seems to resent her power over him. For, while he portrays her as strong and commanding, but then insists that she is weak and needs him more than anything else conveyed in the personification “set its struggling passion free”. When he kills her, he finally reverses their roles so that he is in control; at the end of the poem, she sits with her dead head drooped on his shoulder, when before she had

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