Robert Browning Porphyrias Lover

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Background on Robert Browning and his poem "Porphyria's Lover," including information about dramatic monologues.

Background on Robert Browning and his poem "Porphyria's Lover," including information about dramatic monologues.

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  • 1. Robert Browning “ Porphyria’s Lover”
  • 2. Robert Browning: Biography
    • 1812-1889
    • Pauline pub. at age 21
    • Married poet Elizabeth Barrett in 1846
    • Elizabeth died in 1861
    • 1869: The Ring and the Book pub.
    • Considered one of the great Victorian poets
  • 3. Dramatic Monologue
    • Poem in which a single character (not the poet) delivers a speech
    • Speaker indirectly reveals his or her situation and character
    • A silent listener is often implied
  • 4. What is Porphyria?
    • Archaic term for the color “purple” (Greek porphura , meaning “purple pigment”)
    • A disease characterized by overproduction of porphyrins
      • Causes urine to appear purple
      • Hallucinations, anxiety, depression, paranoia
      • Seizures
      • Abdominal pain
      • Receding gums
      • Pale skin
    • Vampires and werewolves?
    • Famous cases: George III, King of England; Mary, Queen of Scots; Vincent Van Gogh; King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
  • 5. “ Porphyria’s Lover”
    • Appeared in 1836
    • Earliest dramatic monologue
    • ABABB rhyme scheme
    • Iambic tetrameter
    • Tableau vivant