Porphyria's Lover Figurative Language

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Psychotic lover “Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning, starts off as a romantic poem being told by a derange lover, which soon then has an ironic plot twist towards the end of the poem. Porphyria’s Lover was the first short dramatic monologue that Browning wrote. In a dramatic monologue we are revealed what the character is thinking and how they feel. This poem was published in January 1836. It is also one of his first poems to feature a character with clinical insanity disorder. This poem went unnoticed upon its first publication, but it later gained attention in the literary and even psychological department as being one of the first poems to dig into the issue of mental illness in the 19th century. Robert Browning uses figurative language,…show more content…
The most obvious one is Porphyria’s hair in which the speaker speaks frequently about. The first time the reader is being introduce to Porphyria’s golden hair is when she walks inside the cottage dripping wet from the the storm outside, she “Untied her hat and let the damp hair fall”(Browning 39). During this time era a woman’s hair was considered a symbolism for a woman sexuality. The woman wore their hair down only around their husbands or in private. However in public woman were considered to wear their hair pulled up nice and classy. The speaker mentions Porphyria’s hair being loose to show the reader that she may have some sexual intentions for her lover. In this poem there is not that much communicating between the couple, in fact there is a lot of eye contact being done in the entire poem. The speaker mentions “Be sure I look’d up at her eyes Happy and proud”(Browning 39). At this moment the reader realize the speaker is looking through Porphyria’s eyes and this proves to him that she is truly in love with him. After the ironic twist of the speaker strangling Porphyria he explains “I warily oped her lids: again Laugh’d the blue eyes without a stain”(39 Browning). Which is pretty strange because he explains her eyes as laughing, however what he has just done is not a laughing matter, so comparing the too is quite odd. When referring to her blue eyes not having a stain, this could be a bloodshot stain from him strangling her. This goes to show he obviously does not feel any sympathy for killing

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