Robert Browning Porphyria's Lover Analysis

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English poet and playwright Robert Browning was a master of dramatic verse. He was widely recognized as a master of dramatic monologue and psychological portraiture. Browning was a prolific writer but is most well known for his long form blank poem The Ring and the Book, the story of a Roman murder trial in 12 books. He also wrote a series of lyrics, including The Pied Piper of Hamelin and Prophyria's Lover. The finest works of Browning endeavor to explain the mechanics of human psychology. The motions of love, hate, passion, instinct, violence, desire, poverty, violence, and sex and sensuousness are raised from the dead in his poetry with a striking virility and some are even introduced with a remarkable brilliance.

In my paper of NTCC I
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In her book Robert Browning, Isobel Armstrong adds that the poem itself is an “attempt to examine… neurotic or insane behavior, and in particular the pathology of sexual feeling”. Certainly, the act of strangling Porphyria does initially seem insane – an act without a clear or actual rationale – yet this widely held critical view of Browning’s piece is perhaps too myopic. Madness, after all, says little about anything else other than itself. It is the intention of this paper to prove that “Porphyria’s Lover” is a far more complicated piece than a basic tale of a deranged man who commits a deranged act. Textual evidence supports a different, more complex, and perhaps more troubling reading – that Porphyria’s death is the deed of a sane man, motivated by the lust for power. “Porphyria’s Lover” then becomes a poem that is fundamentally about neither love nor death, but one concerned primarily with
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