Porphyrias lover

Essay by ninCollege, Undergraduate April 2004

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Every person has experienced some kind of love through the duration of their lives. Two

people loving one another should be a blissful jury through life. Yet, sometimes love has

tragic results instead of being joyful. People can become obsessed with the ones that they

desire. "Porphyria`s Lover" by Robert Browning is an example of the struggling love that

two people have for one another. It becomes obsessive love and then ends in fatal loss.

The poet sets up an intense atmosphere using personification and foreshadowing.

The stormy weather is described as " The sullen wind", " It tore the elm-tops down for

spite", and "...did its worst to vex the lake". The horrible weather also portrays the

irrational mind set of Porphyrias lover. Porphyria seems to have a great importance to the

speaker yet his obsession becomes more evident throughout the poem. "A sudden

thought of one so pale" and "That moment she was mine, mine..."

the speaker states. He

loved Porphyria and believed she was " too weak for all her hearts endeavor". The

possessiveness of the speaker foretells the conclusion. Throughout the poem his feelings

were apparent yet Porphyrias feelings were never mentioned.

All along, the speaker seems to struggle with his affection for Porphyria. When

Porphyria arrived, her presence caused the cottage to warm inside. She stripped away her

dirty and damp clothes. This could represent her stripping away what has been holding

their love apart. For an untold reason they are not supposed to be together. Porphyria

arrived in cloak and shawl and strips away everything that has held her back previously.

She called to her lover and he did not reply. In response, she exposed her pale white

shoulder and made his cheek lie there. He describes the love he has for Porphyria...