The way the lover killed her in porphyrias lover is very sudden, and unexpected when you are reading it – the start of the poem sounds like everything is fine and suddenly, he kills her. The reader expects that to happen because everything was going so well before, and why would he want to spoil it? But as you read on, it becomes clear.
Porphyria’s power is stopped when she tells him why she came:
“Murmuring how she loved me – she’s too weak, for all her heart’s endeavour
To set it’s struggling passion free
From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
And give herself to me forever.”
This is Porphyria’s weak attempt at breaking-up with the lover. By “murmuring” she loses her pride. You can even imagine that she had come to him from a party when the speaker, later in the poem, says: “tonight’s gay feast.” By breaking-up with him she could possibly enjoy her evening with another man. Lust, a feeling closely linked with love. Porphyria knows that he needs her to care for him but does not want that kind of life any more. She tries to make this break-up less painful for her lover by saying that she would stay with him if she could, but can’t. She lies to him. People lie a lot when love is involved due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Due to the emotions the narrator is feeling begins to mislead himself, convincing himself that she enjoys his company and worships him and will give herself to him.
As he convinces himself of this, he reaches the conclusion that she was his, the repeated word “mine” makes it clear that will do anything to stay with her.
The Lover in Porphyria’s Lover seems similar in the ways of being just as possessive and maybe more obsessive. However, the lover is very much in love with Porphyria and this is why he takes her life, as he killed her with her own hair when she told him that she loved him, ‘that moment she was mine, mine’. The fact that he was so overwhelmed and in love with her is shown by him killing her to save that moment and her love for him. Also, the man feels no guilt, he feels what he did is perfectly fine because God had not spoken against him, ‘and God has not said a word’.
It is slightly different in My Last Duchess, because in that one it seems to be further in the past, like its history but in Porphyrias Lover it seems more recent, so it is more sudden. In My Last Duchess he doesn’t make it so obvious that she has been killed ‘I gave commands, and all smiles were stopped’, it doesn’t hit you straight away you have to think about it for a bit to work it out, which is different than in Porphyrias lover.
The duke suggests that he has a craves of control. He describes how he is easy annoyed when she does not pay attention or treat him better than anyone else. It is easy to see that he could not control her, and it trying to do so she rebelled against him.
He describes the duchess as a person with a kind personality stating that she he had a soft heart trying to criticise her nature.
In both poems, the women who were murdered by men of an insane minds, one murdering her for her love and the to control her life and the way she lives it. There is no real description of the characters lives before the incidents that claim their lives.