Hi can someone give me some feedback and a grade for this piece please Porphyria’s lover
The theme of commitment can be seen in both William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” and Robert Browning’s “Porphyria’s lover”. It becomes clear very early on in the poem that porphyria loves the narrator as she walks through a storm in the middle of Victorian London at night with a “dripping cloak and shawl” with “soiled gloves” to meet him. The fact that she’s wearing a shawl, gloves and coat shows that she’s rich and of a higher class as not very many people could afford these clothes back then. On the contrary, the narrator’s use of the word “soiled” to describe her gloves shows that she’s a fallen woman (lost her innocence/fallen from God’s grace). A Victorian reader would be both shocked and disgusted that Porphyria has left her home unchaperoned at night to see a man who she’s not married to and is regarded as a lower class. A modern audience would be surprised that Porphyria has gone out in the middle of a storm to see someone however, she wouldn’t be regarded as a fallen women as the Victorian viewpoint is very different to nowadays. It is clear to see that there is an imbalance in the relationship as Porphyria is showing all the commitment by coming to his house in the middle of a storm in Victorian London risking both her life and reputation and yet her lover hasn’t said a word.
After walking through the storm to meet her lover, she “glides” in and makes her “white shoulder bare”. The word “glided” makes the reader imagine beauty and elegance but can also be interpreted as a reference to her imminent death as the word “glided” often makes people think of a ghost. The word “white” gives the impression of purity, on the contrary the fact she makes it “bare” is yet another suggestion that she’s a fallen woman as back then the only people who should be seeing her flesh is her husband. A modern audience would view this behaviour as a way of showing affection to her lover on the other hand, a Victorian audience would see Porphyria’s behaviour as unacceptable as not only has she gone out unchaperoned, she is now showing a man- not her husband- her bare skin! This shows the reader that she is trying to attract the reader’s attention as she is going to such extreme efforts to be with him. This then leads the reader to believe that she wants the commitment she gives her lover back in return.
As Porphyria is going to a lot of effort to attract his attention, he suddenly realises she loves him and overwhelmed with a sense of euphoria that he never wanted to let go of, her strangled her, “No pain felt she, I am quite sure she felt no pain” as “Laughed the blue eyes without a stain”. The word “she” shows that he’s objectified putting the image across that she’s not a human making the crime seem much lesser than it actually is. The repetition of the phrase “no pain” shows that he is trying to convince himself that this didn’t hurt her. The narrator’s description of her “laughing eyes” makes the reader imagine someone happy, Browning does this to suggest that she is happier dead than alive, making the poem seem somewhat sinister to both a modern and Victorian audience. Her eyes, according to the narrator, are “without a stain”, showing that the narrator believes that in her murder he has taken away her sins which is something only God can do, therefore we can infer that the narrator views himself as a God which isn’t something one would expect for someone who’s committed such a terrible crime.
English-Porphyria's lover Watch
- Thread Starter
- 20-01-2015 21:33