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Born in 1812, during the Victorian era

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Title: Born in 1812, during the Victorian era


1
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2
Robert Browning
  • Born in 1812, during the Victorian era
  • Liberal parents, who took a keen interest in his
    education and personal development
  • Wrote poetry from an early age
  • Hugely influenced by Percy Bysshe Shelley, a
    radical who wanted to change modern society
  • Wrote many famous dramatic monologues
  • Changes to the culture
  • The population was increasing and cities
    expanded.
  • Newspapers made the public fearful with tales of
    crime and lust.
  • Many people lost faith in religion as various new
    scientific theories emerged, notably Darwins
    theory of evolution.
  • Masses of poverty, whilst extreme wealth existed
    for the minority

3
Madhouse Cell Porphyria's Lover The rain set
early in to-night, The sullen wind was soon
awake, It tore the elm-tops down for spite, And
did its worst to vex the lake I listened with
heart fit to break. When glided in Porphyria
straight She shut the cold out and the storm, And
kneeled and made the cheerless grate Blaze up,
and all the cottage warm Which done, she rose,
and from her form Withdrew the dripping cloak and
shawl, And laid her soiled gloves by, untied Her
hat and let the damp hair fall, And, last, she
sat down by my side And called me. When no voice
replied, She put my arm about her waist, And made
her smooth white shoulder bare, And all her
yellow hair displaced, And, stooping, made my
cheek lie there, And spread, o'er all, her yellow
hair, Murmuring how she loved me---she Too weak,
for all her heart's endeavour, To set its
struggling passion free From pride, and vainer
ties dissever, And give herself to me for
ever. But passion sometimes would prevail, Nor
could to-night's gay feast restrain A sudden
thought of one so pale For love of her, and all
in vain
  • So, she was come through wind and rain. Be sure
    I looked up at her eyes Happy and proud at last
    I knew Porphyria worshipped me surprise Made my
    heart swell, and still it grew While I debated
    what to do. That moment she was mine, mine,
    fair, Perfectly pure and good I found A thing to
    do, and all her hair In one long yellow string I
    wound Three times her little throat around, And
    strangled her. No pain felt she I am quite sure
    she felt no pain. As a shut bud that holds a
    bee, I warily oped her lids again Laughed the
    blue eyes without a stain. And I untightened next
    the tress About her neck her cheek once
    more Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss I
    propped her head up as before, Only, this time my
    shoulder bore Her head, which droops upon it
    still The smiling rosy little head, So glad it
    has its utmost will, That all it scorned at once
    is fled, And I, its love, am gained
    instead! Porphyria's love she guessed not
    how Her darling one wish would be heard. And thus
    we sit together now, And all night long we have
    not stirred, And yet God has not said a word!
  • Robert Browning

4
Porphyrias Lover Quick Response
  • The poem is a dramatic monologue in which the
    narrator confesses to a crime.
  • What is the crime?
  • Who is the criminal?
  • Who is the victim?
  • Where and when does the crime take place?
  • What is the motive?
  • What unusual weapon is used to commit this crime?

5
Storyboard
  • Use the cartoon strip to create a storyboard of
    the events in this poem.
  • There are eight boxes. Note down the eight key
    events of the poem and create visuals for these
    in the boxes provided
  • A caption should be provided for each box. You
    may use quotations from the poem or an
    explanatory sentence.





6
Supertitle
  • A supertitle is the phrase that appears above the
    main title. Think about the supertitle that
    appears in this poem and answer the questions
    below
  • Where does the narrator think that he is as he
    makes his confession?
  • Where is he actually?
  • Who might he think that he is talking to?
  • Who do you think he is actually talking to?
  • At what point in time does he think it is at the
    end of the poem?
  • When might it be really?

7
Is the poem what it seems?
  • How reliable is the narrator?
  • Bearing in mind the content of the poem, why
    might the narrator be unreliable? Discuss this in
    your groups
  • Lying due to the nature of the crime?
  • Insane and no real grasp of reality?
  • ??? Any other reasons???

8
Unreliable Statements
  1. How does the repetition of the claim in red make
    it less believable and why cant it be true?
  2. Bearing in mind what has happened to Porphyria,
    are her eyes likely to be without a stain?
  3. Is it possible for her body to blush at the point
    indicated and why would he want us to believe
    that she was blushing?
  • No pain felt she
  • I am quite sure she felt no pain.
  • As a shut bud that holds a bee,
  • I warily open her lids again
  • Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.
  • And I untightened next the tress
  • About her neck her cheek once more
  • Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss
  • I propped her head up as before,
  • Only, this time my shoulder bore
  • Her head, which droops upon it still
  • The smiling rosy little head,
  • So glad it has its utmost will,
  • That all it scorned at once is fled,
  • And I, its love am gained instead!
  1. Find another description of her in this section
    which is an equally impossible description.
  2. What does he believe that Porphyrias utmost
    will was? Find a quotation from the poem to
    support your idea

9
Flower Word Choice
  • A key genre marker of romance is often flowers
    men giving flowers to women.
  • Count the number of references to flowers in the
    poem.
  • What is unusual about the flower references in
    this poem?
  • The narrator has gone stage further rather than
    giving her flowers, he has transformed her into a
    flower not a nasty corpse, as he sees it.

10
Pathetic Fallacy
  • Pathetic Fallacy is when a writer uses weather to
    suggest a characters emotions or the mood of the
    story.
  • The rain set early in to-night,
  • The sullen wind was soon awake, It tore the
    elm-tops down for spite, And did its worst to vex
    the lake I listened with heart fit to
    break. When glided in Porphyria straight She
    shut the cold out and the storm, And kneeled and
    made the cheerless grate Blaze up, and all the
    cottage warm
  • What do the green words have in common and what
    does this suggest about the narrator by the fact
    that he describes the weather in this way.
  • Technique used?
  • What does the blue word suggest about Porphyria?

11
Structure no accident
  • Browning makes every detail of his poem work
    together to create a full picture of his speaker.
    Structure is one way of doing this.
  • Does this poem have verses and if so, how many?
  • Does it have a rhyme scheme or noticeable rhythm?
  • This poem does have a very particular structure,
    but it is hidden.
  • A people count the number of syllables in each
    line and write the number at the end pattern
    revealed?
  • B people note the rhyme scheme on the poem and
    see if it naturally splits into verses number
    of verses? Rhyme pattern in each verse?
  • C people re-read the poem thinking about the
    plot. Mark an asterisk in the text where you
    believe the turning point is. It may not be at
    the end of a line.
  • D people re-read the poem and lightly circle the
    word and wherever it appears. Count how many
    t6imes it is used and how many times it is used
    to start a line.

12
Enjambment
  • The poet has stuck rigorously to a rhyme scheme,
    however the rhymes themselves are not that
    obvious. This is due to Brownings use of
    enjambment where the end of a line is not the
    end of a sentence or idea. Sentences and ideas
    run from line to line and indeed from verse to
    verse, which prevents the reader from putting
    weight or stress on the final word in a line.
    This allows Browning to conceal the rhyme scheme.
  • In the extract opposite, the
  • verse breaks have been put
  • in and the last word of each
  • sentence or idea has been
  • underlined.
  • The rhyme in this poem is hidden,
  • what aspect of the narrators
  • Character does this mirror?

I found A thing to do, and all her hair In one
long yellow string I wound Three times her little
throat around, And strangled her. No pain felt
she I am quite sure she felt no pain. As a
shut bud that holds a bee, I warily oped her
lids again Laughed the blue eyes without a
stain.
13
Structure copy and complete
  • Porphyrias Lover is _______ lines long and
    though it is printed in one unbroken block,
    actually divides into _________verses of
    ___________lines each. Within each verse, the
    rhyming pattern is as follows the first line
    rhymes with the _________ line, and the ________,
    ___________ and _______ lines rhyme with each
    other. This regular rhyme scheme is known as an
    a, b, a, b, b rhyme scheme however the rhyme is
    hidden through Brownings careful use of
    ____________.
  • The line lengths in this poem are also highly
    regular. Of the sixty lines, ____________ are
    _________ syllables in length, with just a few
    having ________ syllables.
  • This creates a tightly controlled, but hidden
    structure. Explain why this suits the poem?

14
Turning Point I found / a thing to
do Complete the table using quotations to
support your ideas
Before the TP After the TP
Who controls the situation? Porphyria does. She shut out the cold and made the cheerless grate blaze up and all the cottage warm. She called him and made his cheek lie on her shoulder. Anything that changes does so because of her.
What is the narrators mood?
How are Porphyria and the narrator sitting?
15
Visuals
  • Draw the two separate scenes described in the
    poem where the couple sit together. The first
    picture should depict lines 14 to 19, and the
    second picture should relate to lines 49 to 51.
  • What does the turning point phrase I found / a
    thing to do suggest about the narrators view of
    murder?

16
  • Repetition and
  • How many times did you circle the word and?
  • How many times was and the first word of the
    line?
  • What types of people tell stories structured
    using lots of ands?
  • What does this tell us about the narrator?
  • Are there any other instances where the
    narrators childish and selfish character traits
    are apparent? Look particularly at the first 19
    lines.
  • Repetition her she
  • Count the number of times her and she feature
    in the poem.
  • What does the overuse of these two pronouns tells
    you about the narrator?

17
  • Repetition hair
  • Which lines does this word feature in?
  • What two reasons might the poet have for having
    the narrator repeat words relating to her hair?
  • Repetition Passion
  • What purpose does the narrator have in repeating
    this word in lines 22-30?
  • What does he want us to believe about Porphyrias
    feelings for him? Find evidence from the poem to
    support your ideas.
  • Did she give in to her desires on the night of
    her murder? Support with evidence.
  • List the things that she does that suggest she
    felt passionately about the protagonist.
  • Quote two words from lines 6 20 that suggest
    that Porphyria is submitting to her desires and
    explain why they suggest this.
  • Note and explain two quotations that indicate
    Porphyrias tainted virtue and her desperation to
    give into her desires.

18
Caesura
  • Caesura is a pause in the middle of a line of
    poetry, breaking the line into two halves. This
    can be achieved using most forms of punctuation.
  • How many lines of Brownings poem is this
    technique featured on?

19
Caesura
  • What effect does this have on the poem?
  • Do they suggest
  • a pause for thought?
  • nervousness or uneasiness?
  • stuttering / limiting the flow of the
    conversation, hinting at the speakers insanity?
  • ????
  • Explain why you think that caesura has been used
    in the poem in lines 15 and 41.
  • Consider the use of caesura in line 15. How does
    this convey a sense of the atmosphere in the
    poem?
  • It is jarring, and emphasises the silence which
    follows in his muteness.
  • Select another example and comment on the effect
    on the atmosphere.

20
The poems conclusion
The speaker believes that he is still sitting in
his cottage on the morning after the night of the
murder, holding Porphyrias dead body in his
arms. However the supertitle made it clear that
he was in fact in a madhouse cell and that the
crime may have happened weeks or months
previously. After her death he arranges her
body I propped her head up as before, Only, this
time my shoulder bore Her head, which droops upon
it still This is a mirror image of the way that
she held him earlier in the poem. He ends by
stating And all night long we have not stirred,
And yet, God has not said a word! Which word
suggests that he believes she may still be
alive? Which phrase suggests that he has been
robbed of his sanity entirely and why? What does
the final line also tell the reader about his
feelings regarding his crime?
21
Sentence Structure
Complex sentences These are used to speed up the text and could show a character is ranting and talking quickly or thinking quickly because they are scared or excited.
Short sentences This is when a word or idea is repeated frequently or all in one part of a text to emphasize an idea.
Long sentences These show shock or that something may be shouted.
Repetition These add extra detail to your writing and can speed up the pace.
Dashes These are words that can be used to express the emotion of a text or character.
Exclamation marks These can be used to pick up the pace of a text or to mirror the action in a text.
Emotive language These slow the pace down and can add tension to a text. Also they may be used to highlight or emphasize a piece of information.
What type of sentence structures can you find in
the poem and why have they been used?
22
Pathetic Fallacy / Personification
  • List examples of pathetic fallacy and
    personification using quotation
  • Select one example of pathetic fallacy and three
    examples of personification and analyse their use
    in the poem.
  • Example
  • Browning uses personification in the poem to
    suggest that Porphyrias love is a separate
    entity from her she / Too weak, for all her
    heart's endeavour, / To set its struggling
    passion free Personification is used to separate
    Porphyrias love from her, to make it seem like a
    distinct thing that needs to be rescued and
    liberated by extinguishing the aspect of her that
    prevents it from enjoying what it wants.

23
Theme
  • What are the key themes in this poem?
  • sex madness love violence
  • For each of these themes make a list of
    quotations from the poem that you could use to
    comment on this theme
  • For example
  • The theme of madness is introduced at the outset
    of the poem through Brownings use of the
    supertitle Madhouse Cell. As the rest of the
    poem is written in the voice of the speaker, the
    reader is not able to trust everything that is
    said. However, because the location is given via
    the supertitle it is not influenced by the
    speaker and therefore provides an initial setting
    for the poem as well as indicating the speakers
    mental state.

24
(No Transcript)
25
(No Transcript)
26
Medical Report
  • You are the psychiatrist who has sat and heard
    this tale from the speaker. Write a medical
    report about your patient. You must
  • Make each feature of his insanity clear and back
    this up with quotations from the text.
  • Suggest a suitable treatment regime
  • Make clear recommendations about how others
    should be protected from him.
  • Begin with the following paragraph
  • Baddesley Asylum
  • It is clear that the subject was suffering from
    overwhelming anger even before these tragic
    events. His tendency to describe even weather as
    sullen and spiteful merely indicates his
    own fury at the world and the elements within it.

27
Techniques Revision
  • Complete a mind map for each of the techniques
    listed below.
  • For each you should include a quotation from the
    poem and analytical notes about what you could
    say about the quotation.
  • supertitle dramatic monologue persona pathetic
    fallacy
  • contrast rhythm rhyme verse structure
  • enjambment ambiguity turning point repetition fina
    l line
  • flower word choice unreliable narrator
  • For example
  • pathetic fallacy
  • The sullen wind did its worst to vex the
    lake
  • personification and pathetic fallacy used
    to depict his emotions through the storm that is
    occurring outside.

28
Essay Questions
  • Choose a poem in which the poet has created a
    perfect blend of form and content. Show how the
    poet does this and discuss how it adds to your
    appreciation of the poem.
  • Choose a poem in which the poet creates a picture
    of a heroic or a sinister figure. Discuss the
    means by which the personality is clearly
    depicted.
  • Choose a poem where there is effective use of
    more than one of the following verse form,
    rhythm, repetition and sound. Show how the poet
    effectively uses these features to enhance your
    appreciation of the poem as a whole.
  • Choose a poem where the speakers personality is
    gradually revealed. Show how through the content
    and language of the poem, aspects of the
    character gradually emerge.

29
Introductions TARTS Choose a poem in which the
poet creates a picture of a heroic or a sinister
figure. Discuss the means by which the
personality is clearly depicted.
  • Title Author Refer to question
  • Themes and techniques Summary
  • Porphrias Lover is a dramatic monologue
    written from the perspective of a sinister
    character. Robert Brownings poem tells the tale
    of a young woman come late one stormy evening to
    the speakers home. Whilst there it appears that
    the couple become amorous, but this ends abruptly
    when the speaker strangles his apparent lover
    with her own hair. During the poem it becomes
    clear that the speaker is in fact insane and
    Browning employs a variety of techniques such as
    rhythm, rhyme, enjambment, pathetic fallacy,
    imagery, and repetition to present a full picture
    of the speakers sinister character.

30
Main Body Paragraphs PEEE
  • Point Evidence Explanation Evaluation
  • The speakers dark and violent mood is
    established at the outset of the poem when
    Browning employs pathetic fallacy to show how the
    speaker is feeling. The sullen wind was soon
    awake, / It tore the elm-tops down by spite, /
    And did its worst to vex the lake Browning has
    personified the weather to highlight the vicious
    mood that the speaker is in. The wind is
    described as being huffy as well as violently
    attacking the trees and angering the lake. This
    not only establishes the speakers mood and
    feelings, but it also foreshadows his behaviour
    towards Porphyria when she later arrives at his
    house. Just like the wind, he describes at the
    beginning, he too acts obstinately towards her
    when she first arrives, before he then violently
    attacks her. Browning effectively creates a
    violent atmosphere in the poem, but by describing
    the weather instead of his speaker, this helps to
    conceal the violent aspects of the speakers
    character therefore making his act all the more
    shocking when it is described later in the poem.
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