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    How does Browning use the human voice to create character Essay

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    All thress poems, ‘Porphyria’s Lover’, ‘My last Duchess’ and ‘The laboratory’ are about murdering innocent people out of the desperateness of love and never wanting to lose that one perfect moment. In the poem, ‘Porphyria’s Lover’, a blonde woman is the vistim but ‘My Last Duchess’ is about killing the Duchess probabaly through jealously as she treated everyone equally and the husband might have wanted more love and admiration shown towards him alone from his Wife. ‘the Laboratory’ chooses a woman to be the perpetrator, She is wvil. She is resourceful and terribly energetic as she knows how to get what she wants.

    Porphyria’s Lover’ mimics natural speech. It actually takes the form of stictly structured werse, rhyming ABABB. The intensity of the pattern suggests the madness concealed within the speakers reasoned self-presentation. Like most of Browning’s other dramatic monologues, this one captures a moment after a main event or action. Porphyria already lies dead when the speaker begins. Just as the nameless speaker seeks to stoop time by killing her, so, too, does this kind of poem, like the other two of Browning’s centre’s on sex and violence.

    The lover turns out to be very possessive and the poem gets intense as we realise his obessiveness. The words with which the narrator describes the weather reflects his own feelings, ”The rain set early in to-night, the sullen wind was soon awake”, implying that he had woken up in an angry, depressed mood, which is an exampleof transferred epithex. The nature around reflects the emotions of the characters concerned, ‘It tore the elm-tops down for spite, And did its worst to vex the lake’ this shows the agressiveness of Porphyria’s Lover.

    Words are being emphasised ”the moment she was mine, mine, fair, perfectly pure and good… ” here is a example of repeated words showing that the nattator is very dominating and feels possessive about the lady. The motive seen here was to keep ths moment forever by freezing time- in other words, killing her so in his own mind she would have been his alone fore evermore. Reversal if control is symbolised by repetition of the lovers positions one with his/her head on others shoulders, ‘made her smooth white shoulder bare’.

    The monosyllables used are simple; calm, detached and unemotional, whereas say, compared to ‘The Laboratory’ where the woman narrator, She expresses her feelings by employing harsh boarding ‘He is sure to remember her dying face! ” In ‘The Laboratory’, the setting is a darker, colder enviornment. It is described as being the workplace of a chemist, a ”devil’s smithy” which, in it’s own right would be a hellish and evil atmosphere. The ”smoke” mentioned is a symbol of hard work and the fact that it is in a such place can only mean evil deeds are being mischievously conjured.

    It also reminds us of speels and magic. Although the poison is produced here, the sinister acts will take place elsewhere; Browning describes the apothecary’s lair as hellish, and therefore can be thought of as the ‘engine room’ for sin. ”Sinuous” describes graceful, twisting movement, as of a dancer, and a vine. ‘My Last Duchess’ gently kills the lady whereas in the other two poems they are killed violently. Phrases such as ”I debated what to do.. ” and ”string i would.. thress times around” tell us that the speaker is unstable, has a obessive nature and highly dangerous in ‘Porphyria’s Lover’.

    All thress poems have a theme if jealousy running through them. This is probably is the reason for killing the ”opposistion”. ‘My Last Duchess’ is a less violent poem and the narrator describes his Wife using emotive words giving us a good impression of her, though he means the words as a critism, ”too soon made glad”. This dramatic monologue, ‘My Last Duchess’, is narrated by the Duke. He mensions that She’s passed away in the first few sentances, ”Thats my last Duchess painted on the wall, looking as if she were alive”, he prefers her as a piece of art because then She’s completely under his control.

    Use of monosyllables which occurs in all thress of the poems, seems to lend emphasis by showing the rhythm. Repetition is a strong means of emphasis. The character, through his voice, engages the reader as one voice makes the story more immediate to the ambassador he is telling it to. The Duke shows his works of art with real enthusiasm: ”Neptune taming a sea-horse” meaning taking control, making the Duchess seem like the sea-horse in this case with him in control.

    The Duke is quite a performer: He mimics others voices, creates hypothetical situations and uses the force of his personality to blend horrifying information into polite conversation. The poem provides a classic example of a dramatic monologue: the speaker is clearly distinct from the poet, an audience is suggested but never appears in the poem: Browning forces his reader to become involved in the poem in order to understand it and this adds to the fun of reading his work. It also forces this reader to question his or her own response to the subject portrayed and the method of portrayal.

    This is because we would suggest such a person to commit such a crime if he actually loved the person, it just shows his selfishness. The reason the speaker here gives for killing the Duchess differs from that given by the speaker of ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ for murdering Porphyria: however, both women are nevertheless victims of a male desire to control and posses a lobver/Wife. The desperate need to do this mirrors the efforts of the woman in ‘The Laboratory’ because this poem is totally different from the other two.

    Here, the narrator is out for revenge, but her motives are the sae: to possess and control her lover. The Laboratory’ poem describes a sistuation where the nattator is persumed to be a woman unlike the other two poems, because here she uses ‘poison’ a woman’s weapon. She wants it to be visible that her rival has died and wants her lover to witness the painful death. This is a pre-planned murder as in ‘My Last Duchess’ it is only ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ when there is a real crime of passion unplanned. Overall i preferred ‘Porphyria’s Lover’, as he is contemplating with honey in his voice and is actually unknowingly admitting to the act of murder.

    This sanity is questioned when she arrives at the house and he is sitting in the dark. Browning uses this to get a sense of foreboding established and you start to wonder why no lights are on or why there is no fire built. The speaker schemes in obscurity at the thought of going through with his plan, while at the same time describing her every move. This keeps the reader intrested and wanting to find out his next moves. In all thress poems, Browning makes us ‘hear’ the narrator’s voice, as if we’re watching a play and this makes the poems come alive.

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