Friday, April 3, 2009

Irony in "Porphyria's Lover"

Robert Browning's poem entitled "Porphyria's Lover" utilizes both dramatic and situational irony. The irony makes the poem unpredictable and exciting, yet horrifying and disturbing. It also reveals much about the mental state of the speaker.
According to our textbook, dramatic irony "occurs when a speaker believes one thing and readers realize something else"(Kirszner & Mandell, 719). In this poem, dramatic irony is used when the speaker states, "I am quite sure she felt no pain" (line 42). Although he seems to adamantly believe his statement, the reader knows that as the victim of a strangling, Porphyria must have felt some pain. Another point at which dramatic irony occurs is when the speaker says that Porphyria now has her "utmost will" (line 53), as she is joined with him forever. However, the reader knows that Porphyria's will was to seduce her lover and gain his affection, not to lose her life.
Situational irony "occurs when the situation itself contradicts readers' expectations" (Kirszner & Mandell, 721). Of course, the most obvious example of situational irony in "Porphyria's Lover" is the fact that this evening tryst ends in murder, instead of the expected seduction. Another example of situational irony occurs after the murder of Porphyria. One would think that her lover would jump back in horror over what he had done, or try to hide his sin, yet he just sits there with her, as though she were still alive (lines 58-59).
Thus, both the dramatic and situational ironies help to reveal the mental instability of the speaker, as he acts much differently than a sane person would under his circumstances.

2 comments:

Herbs Solutions By Nature said...

Porphyria is not a single disease but group of no less than eight issue that contrast considerably from each other. Our experts have identified a formula which is purely herbal and particularly appropriate for the Porphyria Herbal Treatment. The reasons why choose us for curing Porphyria is because we offer an ultimate Herbal Supplements for this disease.

http://www.herbs-solutions-by-nature.com/Porphyria.php

Ana REx said...


It’s no secret that most men only want one thing, right?

Well it turns out that’s not only wrong, but may actually be the root of many failed relationships.

In fact, the one thing men are universally obsessed with...

Is actually a feeling he’s been chasing his whole life.

It’s an elusive combination of emotion and biological drive that’s rarely satisfied in life or love.

===> (The secret obsession that makes men fall in love) - (What men look for in “The One”) <=====

And when you know how to satisfy this life long obsession...

He will make it his life long mission to cherish and please you...

And he will pursue your love to the ends of the earth.

Here’s a video you won’t want to miss that shows you how to become your man’s deepest obsession:

===> (The most powerful emotion for men) - (Men fall in love with women who do THIS): <=====