Porphyria’s Lover

Length: 555 words

Porphyria’s Lover is a story that has many literary elements, in my opinion it’s a sick and twisted story that uses a lot of imagery, metaphors and personification. This story is about a girl named Porphyria and her lover and Porphyria is on her way home from a rainy day and when she gets home she makes the house nice and warm. She hugs her lover and he feels her yellow hair, she lies next to him and he suddenly strangles her, after he kills her he opens her eyes and he puts his arm around her waist and acts if she is still alive.

Imagery is being used throughout the poem with the images he makes of Porphyria. In Porphyria the speaker uses a lot of imagery in his text; he refers to her yellow hair constantly using imagery because we picture blonde hair. The speaker of “Porphyria’s Lover” opens by describing the storm outside. Oddly, he describes the storm with adjectives that suggest that the weather is conscious of what it’s doing. Porphyia doesn’t get a direct dialogue in the story but her eyes do a lot of talking because he refers to her blue eyes a lot.

The author seems to like to use similes and metaphors in his text as well. In Lines 43-44: This is a weird simile. The speaker compares Porphyria’s closed eyes to a closed flower “bud” with a “bee” inside. Is he afraid of getting stung by her eyes when he opens them again, there is also alliteration (the repeated “b” sounds) connects the “bud” and the “bee. “Line 45: The speaker is using synecdoche by making Porphyria’s “blue eyes” represent the whole woman. After all, “eyes” don’t “laugh” by themselves.

But there’s also an odd metaphor at the end of the line. What kind of “stain” could the eyes have, does he mean that they’re clear, and not bloodshot (as you might expect the eyes of a strangled woman to be)? Or does he mean that, by dying, the “stain” of Porphyria’s sin is gone? Or is he saying that there’s no “stain” of his sin of killing her visible in her eyes. The speaker uses personification in Line 2: The words “sullen” and “awake” personify the weather.

It’s not like the wind can literally feel “sullen,” nor was it asleep before it started to pick up. Line 3: More of what Ruskin calls the “pathetic fallacy”: the wind doesn’t actually feel “spite” when it tears up the trees. Browning just decided to personify it again. Line 4: And now the lake is being personified. You can’t really “vex,” or irritate, a body of water, no matter how hard you splash it. I think that Porphyria’s had a problem with sinning and he felt that if he strangled her with her own hair hat he would help her stop sinning.

Porphyria’s lover was a twisted poem that used a lot of literary elements I gave you the following by explaining how he used similes, metaphors, personification and alliteration. Even though this story was sort of twisted it was still interesting to read how the lover thought killing her would make things better how he strangled her. The storm also had a lot to do with the story because I think it explained his guilty conscious.

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