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 listen’d with heart fit to break. 5
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneel’d and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
Which done, she rose, and from her form 10
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
And laid her soil’d gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
And, last, she sat down by my side
And call’d me. When no voice replied, 15
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, 20
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. 25
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. 30
Be sure I look’d up at her eyes
Happy and proud; at last I knew
Porphyria worshipp’d me; surprise
Made my heart swell, and still it grew
While I debated what to do. 35
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, 40
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
Laugh’d the blue eyes without a stain. 45
And I untighten’d next the tress
About her neck; her cheek once more
Blush’d bright beneath my burning kiss:
I propp’d her head up as before,
Only, this time my shoulder bore 50
Her head, which droops upon it still:
The smiling rosy little head,
So glad it has its utmost will,
That all it scorn’d at once is fled,
And I, its love, am gain’d instead! 55
Porphyria’s love: she guess’d not how
Her darling one wish would be heard.
And thus we sit together now,
And all night long we have not stirr’d,
And yet God has not said a word! 60


1. What kind of an atmosphere is evoked by the first four lines of the poem? How does this reflect the character’s feelings?  The first four lines are describing the stormy weather that sets the scene. Sterotypically stormy weather is associated with scary or disturbing events happening. However, the way it is written makes the character seem quite layed back and calm. Porphyria’s is a type of disease that makes you feel sick and messes with your mind. This disease could be related to lost love as when you lose the love it makes you feel sick, gutted and broken hearted. “The sullen wind”- This is not literally. The wind and rain can make you feel different moods but they don’t have the emotions, they just portray the sentiment.

4. What impression do you gain of Porphyria from what does she when she arrives? When Porphyria arrives, she gives many impressions. When she is being described as she takes her coat , hat and cloves off some how she is portrayed as a high class women. However, they poem also describes her as being a warm person that could either mean, she is a lovely, nice person or a very beautiful person or even both. Her first care when she arrives is for him as when she arrives she lights the fire for him to keep him warm.

6. Why should the reader’s curiosity be aroused by the statement: “When no voice replied”? The readers should start to feel curiosity  by this statement as she is stilling next to the man and calls him but he does not answer. He can hear her but chooses not answer why brings some interest as to why. When he says “No voice replied” he is talking bout himself as if he is two people, suggests his mind is split /crazy.

10. What does he decide to do?  Why? What does this show about him? Prophyria’s lover decides to kill her so that he can have her all to herself and make sure she finally cannot leave him as its what he has always been afraid of. “Perfect pure and good” at this time he thought it was a good idea to kill her that was like no big deal. This shows he has an unimaginable love for her so much so he becomes insane.

11. How does he treat the dead Porphyria? Why? After Porphyria’s lover kills Porphyria he treats her as if she is still alive as now she can never leave him. “A flower closing over a bee”-He thinks this simile is similar to him strangling her until she was dead.  Euphemism- it is a nice way of saying he killed her.

14. What is it about Porphria that seems to attrack Porphyria’s lover most?  Porphyria ‘s lover is drawn to her mostly by her eyes as they show she feels pride and worship looking at him, making him feel complete and loved which is what he wants. This also shows that maybe he feels a little too high of himself.

20. What wish of Porphyria’s does the lover believe he has granted?  He thinks because of the moment of love and pride he saw in her eyes, by killing her at that exact moment he feels he has managed to keep her feeling the same. He believed that he is granted her wish as all she wanted was to love him forever and now she can.

25. Is this poem only about love, or are other ideas being explored through the poem? Love, sacrafising, lose, death, fear, different ways of thinking and pain are just some others I think are explored.


Personification: The act of attributing human characteristics to abstract ideas. (Does your table feel tired…no but people can say the table looks tired…as in it looks old worn down..)

Simile: a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with `like’ or `as’)

Euphemism: an inoffensive or indirect expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive or too harsh

Source: http://britlitwiki.wikispaces.com/Porphyria’s+Lover+Analysis (image)


~ by aliais10 on February 14, 2011.

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