Both of the poems are dramatic monologues of which the speaker talks alone throughout the poem with no answer. I can say both My last Duchess and Porphyrias lover are comparable and they have linkage in a way that they are based in the Victorian society where there is a lot of patriarchy happening. In this society the privileges of women are restricted and even disregarded, they are not permitted to work or have their own property as long as they are not married so once they get married it is when their rights will be given legally to their husband apart from that it is not happening.
In addition to losing money and material goods to their husbands, Victorian wives became property to their husbands, giving them rights to what their bodies produced: children, sex and domestic labour. However during this era man were given stability over their houses and to their woman as well which brought to a point whereby Man had power to control everything however some of the things were cruel and violent such as verbal abuse and forced sex. Woman during this era were not even allowed to divorce their husbands even thought they were abused their duty was to love, obey and honour their husbands as they were the leader of the family (Buckner, 2005, p.137).
Victorian man were in secured and very sensitive in a way that they wanted everything to go their way that is why they appreciated the fact that their wives were powerless and are being used as objects hence they were allowed to marry young girls in order to show the natural hierarchy between the genders. However, it was acceptable for men to have multiple partners in their life; some husbands had lengthy affairs with other women while their wives stayed with their husbands because divorce was not an option (Forman, 2000).
In the poem My Last Duchess the speaker here talks about his dead wife who she is now painted and drawn, her picture is painted very beautifully by the designer Fra Pandolf. The expression when coming to look at the painting for the speaker looking at his dead wifes face was very mean, and the viewers wanted to ask more about the painting but they couldnt and only the Duke had the accede to that painting. The way Duchess looked beautiful Fra Pandolf thought and had the idea that it was going to be best if she had revealed her body as she was too much covered so she was supposed to reveal that beautiful body to show this beauty that everyone could see that.
The speaker as he was too much jealousy he did not want her to blush even to smile or be friendly with anyone else except him. He even explain the character of his wife, as she was heart and too easy as if everywhere she looks she will fall in in love. The drooping of the daylight in the West it simply explain sexual conotose and also that line explain her as the person who can be impressed and be glad as the setting of the sun would make her happy when someone brings her fruits. In the Victorian era, sex was not discussed openly and honestly; public discussion of sexual encounters and matters were met with ignorance, embarrassment and fear (Marsh, 2013).
The way she is her husband seems to be having a problem because of the insecurities he was having and thoughts that his wife would leave him for another Man, though that was not even going to happen as during Victorian era women were never allowed to have multiple partners like their husband would have. The speaker tell the viewer that he gave his wife a very precious and valuable gift of his surname and that was a very huge favour to carry the royalty surname with her. This man he wanted to be treated as a superior and control his partner he was not going to stand that low just to have a decent communication with his wife in expressing his feelings or him being specific about how he gets disgust when his wife blushes nor getting friendlier with everyone else.
Thus the behaviour was escalating every now and then so he ended up giving out the command or orders that his wife should be killed. The persona thought that his wife was too much friendly to everyone else so the best solution for her not to be like that to anyone was to get her killed, and he personally did not like the person whom his wife was nor the character as he wanted her to only be his wife alone with no one else we can this man was psychologically sick. As this duke was about to get married to the daughter of the servant he was sending the message to the servant to tell his daughter on how to behave as he does not want the wife like the previous one as he is not intending or does no longer wants to kill hence he want the woman with no power.
In Porphyrias lover the two lovers were staying in a cottage in the countryside. We are given the picture of the weather condition in the beginning of the poem that it is raining very heavy and the mood was very dark and grumpy about what is happening outside. As the speaker was sitting alone in the cottage that is very dark and cold Porphyria came in coming somewhere else and started making fire for the house to be warm, then after that she took off her cloth that was wet due to rain and sat down. After all she started talking to her lover and greeting but there was no response however she did not mind that at all but came closer to his lover to cuddle with him.
As Porphyria came closer to her lover the persona couldnt wait for her to sit next to him though he did not yet said anything but being very ignorant. His ignorance means or shows that he was fuming, angry and annoyed by his lover. Porphyria did not even realise that but was busy seducing him by the things she was doing such as showing off the shoulders and telling him how much she loves him and in that way the persona came to realise that Porphyria was worshiping him which is what he always wanted. He thinks that Porphyria loves him but she is failing to do that thus he was expecting her to love only him but no one else and also expected her to give all herself to the persona both physically and emotionally.
The lady has sacrificed a lot by going through the heavy storms the minute she thought of his lover but still the persona wanted more than that. The speaker was busy debating with himself on how he is going to take actions towards Porphyria as he was still mad at her however he committed something that is very bad or we can say murder as he strangled her with her own hair around her neck up until she did not breath , her cheeks was still beautiful like she was still alive and he started to toy with her then later on the speaker did a horrible thing by staying with the dead woman all night long and he was very glad that he saved her from herself as she is not going to love many people but only him we can also say that the speaker was a psychopath.
We find that both of the poems are romantic but end up with the tragedy feeling. When reading the poem you will think that this is a very good feeling to bond with your partner and having good time together, but when it is still going you find that there are crimes committed here even violence on its own. This man both of them they were very abusive and emotionally and physically oppressive to their partners or loved ones and they couldnt resist the beauty hence they did not want any man to have but only them hence they have decided to kill their loved ones and this is a very painful feeling. As we see in this relationships both of them there is a lot or patriarchy happen in the society and households as man are very dominant and have more authority and control of property. Historically, patriarchy has manifested itself in the social, legal, political, religious, and economic organization of a range of different cultures (Fedwa, 2007).
It is also duty of a woman according to the logic of domination to be so sacrificial in culture as they are not allowed to work but pause with their futures careers and let their husband to take responsibility of that in order for them to be more successful than their wives however this is very oppressive issue in other perspective in the side of women. When summing up woman do not have to be treated as trash nor object as they also additionally have the rights even in the relationships or in the community they should also have say like man, the world without a woman it is not a complete one as woman are jack of all traits and they can be able to take care of their own families and ensure that everything is well impeccable.
Buckner, P. A. (2005). Rediscovering the British World. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.
Forman, C L (2000). “The Politics of Illegitimacy in an Age of Reform: Women, Reproduction, and Political Economy in England’s New Poor Law of 1834”. Women’s History. 11 (4): 131156.
Marsh, J. (2013) “Sex & Sexuality in the 19th Century”. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 4 March.
Malti-Douglas, F. (2007). Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender. Detroit: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-02-865960-2.[page needed]