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
220.127.116.11 He knew if she left then she might not come bacck
18.104.22.168.1 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.
22.214.171.124 He realises that she will
eventually give in to society’s
pressures, and wants to
preserve the moment
126.96.36.199.1 "The moment she was mine, mine, fair"
188.8.131.52.2 "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
mother/sister? Figure of
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.
3.1 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
184.108.40.206 This is murder through love and sex
3.3 Gothic horror
4.1 Juxtoposition of warmth and cold
4.1.1 "She shut the cold out
and the storm...Blaze up
the cottage warm"
220.127.116.11 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"
18.104.22.168 She is the symbol of warmth and light
22.214.171.124.1 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
126.96.36.199 It also emphasizes each sentence by
bringing attention to what he has to say
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
188.8.131.52 "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
184.108.40.206 "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
220.127.116.11.1 Seems as though the
killer is completely
4.6 Punctuation rapidly increases after her death, especially with exclamation marks
4.6.1 This suggests his erratic behaviour and his excitement
18.104.22.168 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
22.214.171.124 Could also suggest a broken heartbeat just like
Iambic Pentameter mimic heartbeat - this is
doing the opposite
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
126.96.36.199 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
188.8.131.52 He see's no consequences for what he has done
184.108.40.206.1 "and yet God has not said a word!"
220.127.116.11.1.1 The persona may also be schizophrenic; he may be listening for a voice in
his head, which he mistakes for the voice of God.
18.104.22.168.1.2 May be satisfied because it keeps her pure
22.214.171.124.2 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