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  • Date Submitted: 02/14/2016 03:39 PM
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Samuel Smith
Professor Walker
English 111
Paper #1
29 January 2016
Comparison & Contrast “Porphyria’s Lover” & “My Last Duchess”
The poems “Porphyria’s Lover” and “My Last Duchess” both tell the story of an egoistic and self- centered male character who eventually eliminates his partner due to a sense of superiority and possessiveness. In “Porphyria’s Lover,” the narrator tells the reader about the night Porphyria came to his house to see him and how he murdered her. In “My Last Duchess,” the Duke speaks to an envoy who is visiting to discuss the possible marriage between the Duke and a countess; the Duke proudly shows a painting of his former Duchess. The Duke describes the Duchess and his response to her.   Both poems show the male character's strong physical and emotional possessiveness that the male characters have towards their partners, Porphyria's lover the different audience causes him to explain his action.
Both males demand complete fidelity from their females. The Duke is outraged if his Duchess accepts a gift from someone else, or gets pleasure from anything other than what he has done for her. .   .   Porphyria's lover cannot bear the thought of her being at another place while he is alone in his house and becomes proud at the thought of her going through "wind and rain" to comfort him. . . .  
Emotional possessiveness is another theme in both poems. . . .
Each character has a different audience.   The Duke speaks to an envoy, while the Lover speaks directly to the reader. . . .
Both poems show how the human desire for possession can create horrendous outcomes.   The male characters in both poems have an exaggerated self-centered view of the world, and therefore can’t cope with independent partners. They both show an extremely unhealthy approach to their relationship . . .

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