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Browing's poetry--Porphyria's Lover (1 Viewer)

steffiduck

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i've been searching the forum looking for help, but i'd hit march 06 with no threads about browning, so i thought id start one up

basically, i am having trouble linking Porphyria's lover to the "Individual and Society". i kinda have the idea its about rigid class structure, but im not very good at articulating it into an essay with text analysis etc

help please!!! i hate (and therefore am crap at understanding) poetry, so i need as much help as i can get.
 

finishline

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steffiduck said:
i've been searching the forum looking for help, but i'd hit march 06 with no threads about browning, so i thought id start one up

basically, i am having trouble linking Porphyria's lover to the "Individual and Society". i kinda have the idea its about rigid class structure, but im not very good at articulating it into an essay with text analysis etc

help please!!! i hate (and therefore am crap at understanding) poetry, so i need as much help as i can get.
hiya, we're doing that text as well, i know what u mean in saying that your having trouble to link it to the individual in society, im not sure if im 100% correct but i think it not only has to with rigid class structure but also with an individual link to religion. eg in the last few lines the guy who she shaving an affair with says that GOd has'nt said a word, which means that he has taken into consideration what Gods views are on his doings. hence it links to the religous paradigm in the individuals society.
i had something else 2 add but i 4got wat it was ill type it l8er if i remember, hope u found it useful so far, gud luk
 

steffiduck

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finishline said:
hiya, we're doing that text as well, i know what u mean in saying that your having trouble to link it to the individual in society, im not sure if im 100% correct but i think it not only has to with rigid class structure but also with an individual link to religion. eg in the last few lines the guy who she shaving an affair with says that GOd has'nt said a word, which means that he has taken into consideration what Gods views are on his doings. hence it links to the religous paradigm in the individuals society.
i had something else 2 add but i 4got wat it was ill type it l8er if i remember, hope u found it useful so far, gud luk
Thanks for the help, but i stillcan't see who the individual is... is it the mad guy that strangled the girl with her own hair, or was it the girl defying the class structure to have an affair with someone lower than her...

I guess i'll put it off until after half yearlies...
 

the arts

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hey, yes its a little tough but there a quite a few links between the poem and elective. Not only does it relate to the patriarchal tendencies of the Victorian era and the power men held over women, which Browning ultimately expressed in this peom through the act of murder, but it also links with themes of vanity and intelligence specifically in relation to women. Porphryia is seen as some amazing beautiful but ultimatley foolish woman meeting with what she thought was freedom from her rigid class and relationships but is actually her death. The individual in Society is both of them- both are in conflict with the sense of self and the social tradition, and both have influences surrounding them that prompt their actions as agents of self determination. Some of these influences include love/lust, class, power, vanity, religion, even the weather!
hope some of that helped, there's a lot more you just have to try and look for it within the texts!!


HSC 2007: Adv Eng, Ext 1 Eng, Ext 2 Eng, Drama, Art, Gen Math, SportsLifestyle and Recreation.
 
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azziebess123456

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I started with an intro to Browning but got a bit stuck.
Browning’s poem; Porphyria’s lover is exploring patriarchal power. The title undermines social expectations depicting man as an object of the female.
 

jingelz

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porphryias lover i guess u can say has alot of parody just from the title[this is what my taecher told me]
porphyria is a type of skin disease-the man is plagued by it at the beginning but by the end he has conquered, by the use of metaphors.i.e woman-temptation strangling,conquering, getting better. this can be supported by the fact he is sitting.SHE goes to him.
another explanation is that it is a forbidden love- with a close relative or that he is either an old inavalid and she is young. that is not uncommon in that society however the TRUE nature of their relationship e.g they could be siblings or very closely related.porphryia is a plague.
 

the arts

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Porphyria is not a type of skin disease, it is a blood condition that was discovered in the early 18th century. if your teacher has encouraged you to include that angle in your analysis of the poem, i would not think twice about contradicting her and warning you to be careful there!
although Browning may have been aware of the degenarative illness, he is not writing from a medical point of view that implies that the act of murder was some form of sympathetic euthanasia. that's way out of context-we have studied these poems and know that Browning critiques and satirizes the aristocracy through his works, and a sickly 'pale' Porphyria that wanted to be murdered is far from his intended portrayal.
Although that perspective can be argued by butchering the poetry and conveniently ignoring Browning's enjambment by taking some lines out of context to back up that Porphria wanted to die (I've read responses that argue this), the Markers will not give you any room to take that angle-it lacks any form of textual integrity and completely misses the point of Browning's poetry.
 

Rickmurray

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mai teecha told me dat teh murrderer waz a lezbeeen nd im wundern if thr iz prooof of dis in ne reding u gyz myt hav dun on teh subgect.
 

Marinatos

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1. Porphyria is of a higher social status than the lover
2. She has taken a lover in defience of traditional ideas of morality
3. She takes the dominant role, coming to the lovers house, placing his head up on her, etc. hence displaying overt sexuality that was considered inappropriate for a woman.
4. When she arrives at the house she removes her outer clothing, which can be interpreted as removing herself from society's constraints upon the individual to be with her lover.
5. She "makes all the cottage warm", carrying out domestic duties showing the affect of society's continual enforcement of roles.
6. The lover realises that although she is with him now, she will be unable to continue to defy society forever, and will once more conform ("she too weak...give herself to me forever")
7. Only through death can the individual be entirely free from society's constraints (she wished to stay with him forever, but "she knew not how her darling one wish would be hear")
8. The males possession of the female, stuffling her independence ("that moment she was mine, mine", the lover killing Porphyria and preserving her "as if she were alive" in order to possess her "forever")
9. Religion, although only tenuously, has been challenged by the last line ("And yet God has not said a word!") as it is commenting on the fact that God does not care about individuals and that there are apparantly no penalties for attempting to stifle the individual. Alternatively, the last line my infer that Porphyria got what she deserved, as she was an overtly sexual woman who took a lover, and so was rightly condemned in the eyes of Victorian society.

I have not heard about the interpretation of the lover as a lesbian, but even if such an interpretation exists it will not significantly add to your arguement unless it connects with your found texts in that way, and besides, although there is no evidence against it, there is no evidence for it either.

That's all I could think of off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are other interpretations that could be used. Try finding scholarly articles or essays to give you some ideas for interpretation, but make sure you make them your own.
 

Mkj

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im doing Porphyria's lover for one of my related texts for adv eng and i need a bit of help!!

i need to relate it to the play "the Crucible" by Arthur Miller and my quote i'm writing my speech on is "in seeking to belong there are many barriers to overcome"

I have no idea how to relate it to the Crucible it would be great if someone could help =D

thanks...
 

Funderkink

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Hey im also studying Porphyrias Lover along with some other Browning texts such as My Last Duchess and the Laboratory, but we are looking at it from a feminist perspective, how the male dominates over all through the use of dramatic monologue. I have to do an essay on it, in which we compare it to another unseen text. i think i am going to wirte a bit about browning, the attitude of the time, and the content of both the texts, but i need opinions that will differ from the ones that have already been mentioned in class. Do you guys have any other ideas how Porphyrias lover can be seen from a feminist point of view?

See you on the flip side
 

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