Porphyria's Lover Summary & Analysis by Robert Browning

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"Porphyria’s Lover" is a poem by the British poet Robert Browning, first published in 1836. Along with"My Last Duchess," it has become one of Browning’s most famous dramatic monologues—due in no small part to its shockingly dark ending. In the poem, the speaker describes being visited by his passionate lover, Porphyria. After realizing how much she cares for him, however, the speaker strangles Porphyria and then props her lifeless body up beside him. He then concludes the poem by announcing that God has yet to punish him for this murder. While the speaker is often taken to be a madman, his (very twisted) motivations seem clear: in killing Porphyria, he takes control over her, transforming her into an obedient object that will remain "pure" forever.

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