• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
Porphyrias Lover

Porphyrias Lover



A Robert Browning Poem

A Robert Browning Poem

(Creator: Delzi Laranjeira)



Total Views
Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



16 Embeds 271

http://msvjamccarthy.blogspot.com 119
http://msvjamccarthy.blogspot.co.uk 82
http://www.slideshare.net 35
http://missgsmith10x1.wordpress.com 8
http://msvjamccarthy.blogspot.ie 8
http://www.msvjamccarthy.blogspot.co.uk 3
http://www.msvjamccarthy.blogspot.com 3
http://msvjamccarthy.blogspot.ch 3
http://msvjamccarthy.blogspot.de 2
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com 2
http://tefnet.edmodo.com 1
http://msvjamccarthy.blogspot.ca 1
http://msvjamccarthy.blogspot.com.br 1
http://msvjamccarthy.blogspot.in 1
https://learning.bablake.coventry.sch.uk 1
http://msvjamccarthy.blogspot.com.au 1



Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Porphyrias Lover Porphyrias Lover Presentation Transcript

    • “ Porphyria’s Lover”, Sonnets from the Portuguese Robert Browning Elizabeth Barret Browning
      • Remarks:
      • This poem was often grouped by Browning with "Johannes Agricola in Meditation": when published together, the pair of poems were usually titled "Madhouse Cells" and lost their individual titles.
      • Porphyria: her name derives from the Greek word πορφυρος , meaning purple . The related word porphyry is often used by poets to mean a very beautiful purple stone similar to marble. In the twentieth century, medical researchers identified a condition that is generally called Porphyria, a common manifestation of which is Acute Intermittent Porphyria: it is sometimes characterized by mental confusion, hallucinations, and extreme sensitivity to light. While the name for the disorder was probably not inspired by Browning's poem, the relationship between the disorder and this poem is intriguing.
        • Form  dramatic monologue, regular, with a tight ababb rhyme pattern. Most of the poem is written in iambic pentameter.
        • Title: paradoxical -> hints at a (probably happy) love story, but tells about a murder.
        • Porphyria's lover -> another one of those Browning male characters who objectify, use, and abuse woman by projecting their wishes upon them — the Duke of Ferrara and Count Guido Franceschini being the most obvious examples ( “My Last Duchess”, The Ring and the Book )
        • Language  The diction of the poem is straightforward. Browning often uses complex classical reference and colloquialisms in his poems, but the content and language in “Porphyria’s Lover” seem straightforward and easy to understand -> most of the words used are monosyllables, as is much of the description of events presented by the speaker.
        • The poem uses simple, short words. However, there are subtle developments in the poem to suggest the speaker’s unusual state of mind and his heightening sense of conflict: what shall he do with her?
        • At first, the poem relies almost exclusively on description as the speaker recounts the events that have taken place, but as it becomes clear that the events described are seen through the lens of the speaker’s madness, the language becomes more metaphorical:
        • the early description of Porphyria -> the speaker offers a simple physical description of her. She has smooth shoulders and yellow hair.
        • after he kills her  uses vegetative imagery to describe her: her eyelid is like a shut bud that holds a bee, her head droops like a fallen flower, and it is smiling and “rosy”, which seems to accentuate her total subjection by him.
        • The sense of Porphyria’s dominance over her lover and the difference in their temperaments is indicated by the active verbs which initially describe her and contrast her with the speaker’s passivity. When the balance of power shifts as he kills her, the speaker reveals himself as in control, and this shift is accomplished by his associating himself with action while she lies passively and silent against him.
    • Themes
      • Madness  In the second half of the poem, Browning offers more and more clues to show that the speaker is not merely delusional or confused because of his near−broken heart but that he is somehow quite mad.
      • All this is presented, in a calm manner, even as the speaker describes how he takes his lover’s hair and twists it around her neck until she is dead.
      • By not using disjointed language or crazy rhyme (the rhyme scheme is rather irregular but follows a very orderly pattern), Browning suggests that madness is a complex phenomenon that has more in common with sanity than we think.
      • Sex and Violence  depiction of an illicit love affair between a woman of high social standing and her poor lover would have been shocking to Victorian readers. However, Browning’s poem is not shocking merely because it presents a transgressive relationship, but also because it poses questions to readers about the nature of immorality. Porphyria tries to seduce her lover by laying bare her shoulder and putting his head on her shoulder, and he in turn kills her and places her head on his. Both sex and violence were deemed “immoral” by Victorian standards, and Browning seems to be asking why this is as he shows the two acts mirroring each other.
      • Dominance and Power  there is obviously a great deal of tension between Porphyria and her lover, and 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 and is able to shut out the storm. The speaker seems to resent her power over him. For, while he portrays her as strong and commanding, he insists that she is weak and needs him more than anything else.
      • When he kills her  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 lain his cheek on hers.
      • The woman who is the more powerful partner in the relationship is contrary to the stereotype  may be the reason for the speaker’s resentment and anger.
      • She has a gay social life which she enjoys  a likely source of his bitterness, and the only way to rid himself of his feelings of impotence and powerlessness is to kill her.
      • Browning offers no commentary on the nature of power in relationships, the poem brings up questions about how power dynamics manifest themselves in sexual partners’ attitudes and behavior toward each other.
      • Experiencing an Infinite Moment  This theme of experiencing an infinite moment (in which the lover experiences a woman’s perfect love) was common in much Romantic literature, and it has been suggested by a number of critics that in his poem, Browning parodies this notion by showing a madman capturing this infinite moment with his gruesome murder of his loved one.
      • Sonnets from the Portugese  chronicles one of the most famous romances in history. Elizabeth Barrett wrote the sonnet sequence during her courtship by Robert Browning, and later presented them to him as a wedding gift. Robert was amazed by the quality of the poetry, and encouraged her to publish, but Elizabeth objected, saying that the content was too personal. At last, Robert prevailed, and Elizabeth published her sonnets.
    • Sonnets from the Portuguese
      • Disguised on its publication as a translation from the work of the Portuguese poet Luis de Camões, Sonnets from the Portuguese consists of forty−four sonnets—fourteen−line poems of rhymed iambic pentameter.
      • The first four lines of an Italian, or Petrarchan, sonnet make a statement that the next four lines prove. These eight lines are the “octave.” There follows a “turn” in thought. The next six lines, the “sestet,” prove further and conclude the statement. The Petrarchan rhyme scheme is abba, abba, cde, cde . Browning often writes her sestets, however, with a rhyme scheme of cdcdcd . She has been criticized for not adhering strictly to tradition and for not making her rhymes exact (those Victorians were terrible concerning form).
    • Sonnet I:
      • Opens the stages in the romance of Elizabeth and Robert. The theme of the entire sequence is announced in the first sonnet.
      • Reading Theocritus, the speaker thinks on her own life and its melancholy. Meanwhile, she is pulled from behind by the hair. She thinks it is death, but she is corrected: “‘Not Death, but Love.’”
      • This phrase resounds throughout this entire work, which tells how love entered her life and how the beloved, as if he were truly heaven sent, turned her from darkness and the contemplation of the grave to light, love, and life.
    • Sonnet XLIV
        • Sonnet XLIV offers the sonnets to the beloved, just as he has given her many flowers.
        • The flowers become metaphors for the sonnets. Like the eglantine and the ivy (wild plants that are perennial), the speaker wishes the sonnets to remain forever with the beloved (“instruct thine eyes to keep their colours true”) and also function as a connection between them (“and tell thy soul, their roots are left in mine”).