Porphyria's Lover - AO2

Mind Map by misselliecanning, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by misselliecanning almost 5 years ago


English Literature (Browning) Mind Map on Porphyria's Lover - AO2, created by misselliecanning on 04/23/2015.

Resource summary

Porphyria's Lover - AO2
1 Setting
1.1 Cottage
1.2 Countryside
1.3 Trees
1.4 Lake
1.5 Pathetic Fallacy
1.5.1 "Sullen wind"
1.5.2 "Rain set early"
1.5.3 "She shut the cold out and the storm"
1.6 No mention of civilization - Could suggest his isolation - Who is he talking to?
2 Narrative Voice
2.1 He doesn't speak to Porphyria
2.2 He's very mysterious and creepy
2.2.1 Toying with a dead corpse
2.3 He has already murdered Porphyria
2.3.1 After he kills her, he props her up again
2.3.2 He wanted to savour the moment of her love He knew if she left then she might not come bacck Society doesn't want them together
2.3.3 She begins to tell him how she has momentarily overcome societal structures to be with him. He realises that she will eventually give in to society’s pressures, and wants to preserve the moment "The moment she was mine, mine, fair" "Thus we sit together now"
2.4 Nameless speaker seeks to stop time by killing her, so too does this kind of poem seek to freeze the consciousness of an instant.
2.5 He's frustrated because he can't have her the way he wants - his power only extends so far but murdering her is within his physical ability
2.6 Who is Porphyria? A prostitute? His mother/sister? Figure of the imagination?
2.7 It is not a premeditated murder as far as we are aware - "While I debated what to do"
2.8 Other sources note that the lover might be impotent, disabled, sick, or otherwise inadequate, and, as such, unable to satisfy Porphyria. There is much textual evidence to support this interpretation: he describes himself as "one so pale/ for love of her, and all in vain."
2.9 At the beginning of the poem, the persona never moves; he sits passively in a cold, dark room, sadly listening to the storm until Porphyria comes through "wind and rain", "shuts the cold out and the storm," and makes up his dying fire. Finally, she sits beside him, calls his name, places his arm around her waist, and puts his head on her shoulder; interestingly, she has to stoop to do this. At the poem's midpoint, the persona suddenly takes action, strangling Porphyria, propping her body against his, and boasting that afterward, her head lay on his shoulder.
3 Form
3.1 ABABB rhyme scheme
3.1.1 Mimics natural speech but also takes pattern of high pattern rhyming verse
3.1.2 Strict ryhme scheme suggests speech may not be as natural as first appeared - intensity implies there may be madness within the lines
3.2 Dramatic Monologue
3.2.1 Like most of Browning’s other dramatic monologues, this one captures a moment after a main event or action. Porphyria already lies dead when the speaker begins.
3.2.2 Other dramatic monolouges by browning are showing murder through anger or jealousy This is murder through love and sex
3.3 Gothic horror
4 Structure
4.1 Juxtoposition of warmth and cold
4.1.1 "She shut the cold out and the storm...Blaze up the cottage warm" Prophyria is the symbol of warm and light
4.1.2 "She shut the cold out and the storm... Blaze it up, and all the cottage warm" She is the symbol of warmth and light Purity, life and hope - the narrator extinguishes it when he kills her
4.2 Anaphora is used throughout when Browing starts repetitive sentences with 'And'
4.2.1 This could suggest he is listing the events of that night so he can remember them clearly It also emphasizes each sentence by bringing attention to what he has to say Reinforcement
4.3 "That moment she was mine, mine, fair"
4.3.1 Repetition of the word 'mine' suggests possesivness and control
4.4 There is a clear break in the stanza between her life and death which is symoblic
4.4.1 "I am quite sure she felt no pain." The fullstop is signifying the end of her life "No pain she felt; I am quite sure she felt no pain" Repetition of the sentence stands out because it makes it seem like he's questioning himself. How can he be sure?
4.4.2 Murder half way through the poem is very unusual yet interesting
4.5 "Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss"
4.5.1 Strong alliteration which emphasizes warmth and colour "Blushed" Bright" and "burning" you might assosiate with someone who's just done excercise - colour to the face, heart racing. However Porphyria is dead. This is contrasting and contraversial Seems as though the killer is completely delusional
4.6 Punctuation rapidly increases after her death, especially with exclamation marks
4.6.1 This suggests his erratic behaviour and his excitement Sexual desire from death and excited that he hasn't been caught
4.7 At the end the poem goes into Iambic Trentameter - this doesn't sound quite right
4.7.1 Suggests dettachment, mentally and physically of the lover Could also suggest a broken heartbeat just like Iambic Pentameter mimic heartbeat - this is doing the opposite
5 Language
5.1 Porphryria is a type of illness or disease and the symptoms are mental disturbance
5.1.1 The term 'lover' could suggest that she is married to someone else. Lover usually refers to an affair and not a relationship
5.1.2 This foreshadows the murder later on and the killers state of mind
5.2 The term 'lover' could suggest she is married or in a relationship as it usually refers to an affair
5.3 "Let the damp hair fall"
5.3.1 Her hair is unwrapped which is sensual and should only be seen by a husband or in the bedroom Foreshadows the murder
5.3.2 "Yellow hair" is very childlike
5.4 "And give herself to me forever"
5.4.1 Again shows her upcoming death even though at this point it may look like love
5.5 "made her smooth white shoulder bare"
5.5.1 As with letting her hair down, showing her shoulder is a sensual thing and could be seen as sin - therefore she should be punished for it
5.6 "Murmuring how she worshipped me" This is the turning point
5.7 The way she is described, she seems like more of an image to him than a person
5.7.1 "bare white shoulder"
5.7.2 "smiling rosy little head"
5.7.3 "Yellow hair"
5.7.4 Makes her seem as if she is still alive and healthy He see's no consequences for what he has done "and yet God has not said a word!" The persona may also be schizophrenic; he may be listening for a voice in his head, which he mistakes for the voice of God. May be satisfied because it keeps her pure Or maybe he shows resentment and wants judgement
5.8 "wet hair displaced" - This could be a reflection of Porphyrias killer being displaced from the world
Show full summary Hide full summary


An Inspector Calls Revision Notes
Noor Sohail
The Captain of the 1964 Top of the Form Team
Summer Pearce
Hamlet - Character Analysis
Jess Watts
Sheila Birling Quotes
Joe Blockley
The Duchess of Malfi Critics Quotes
Biha Saeed
Macbeth Act One - scene summaries
Ashleigh Huddart
The Merchant of Venice - Act 1 - Plot
bill fingleton
Relationships in Pride and Prejudice
Antonia Blankenberg
A Taste of Honey - Characters
Evan Barton
Love & Relationships
Amy Drake
Key English Texts Across Time
Zoe Veling