Porphyrias Lover

Porphyria’s Lover

The poem “Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning features a significant moment which further develops the central idea of the poem. Browning explores the darker side of love and passion that develops into jealousy, obsession and possessiveness. The poem is written from the perspective of Porphyria’s elusive lover. As the love and passion between them is made apparent the poem becomes more sinister. Finally the speaker, in a desperate attempt to control her, kills Porphyria using her hair to strangle her.                                                                                                                                                      

  The shocking revelation of Porphyria’s murder is the significant moment in the poem. It is the climax of the poem as it fully develops the sinister character of the speaker. The human aspects of; jealousy, obsession and possessiveness, which have been laced through the piece come to a fatal crescendo. The shock of this outrageous action confirms the growing suspicion the reader has of the speaker as we are lead through his thoughts in this text,
  “And all her hair
In one yellow string I wound
Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her.”
Browning’s clever use of enjambment here forces the reader to read on and the structure mimics that of the malicious actions of the speaker. It does this by winding through the text as the man winds her hair around ‘her little throat’, which further heightens the tension. This key moment is further highlighted through the rhyme scheme. The whole poem is set in a rigid aa bb rhyme scheme however here it is disrupted and the words, ‘around’ and ‘wound’, create a rhyming couplet. This shift on the rhyme scheme indicates the debate that is going on in the speaker’s thoughts though he tries to reassure himself it is the right action. This also suggests that he may regret his decision as before he commits the fatal attack his thoughts appeared...