Although the two poems have a fundamental similarity, their tone and uses of language are dramatically different.
Both women die in the poems, but the reasons for their death and the way they are killed highlight the differences in the tone of the two poems.
In ‘Porphyria’s Lover’, you can gather information just by reading the title. Porphyria is not only the name of the women, but is also a hereditary mental failure. By knowing this we can tell that the poem may use other words with double meaning
For example, the use of pathetic fallacy is used in the first four lines. By describing the weather he is also describing his mood. “It tore the elm tops down for spite.” “Spite” means malice and bad feeling. “And did its worst to vex the lake” “Vex” means angry and annoyed. These two word show that the lover was in a bad and annoyed mood with someone. I know that he is in a bad mood with someone as he has used the word ‘sullen’ in the second line, which means annoyed with other people.
You can also tell from the description of his surrounding that Porphyria has a deep impact on his life (cottage warm when she enters, which suggests that her presence light sup his heart)
We know that the lover is poor, as he lives in a cottage and Porphyria comes from a wealthy family. ” To set its struggling passion free, From pride, and vainer ties dissever.” ‘Struggling’ for money, which is the lover. “From pride and vainer” suggests from a wealth background, which is describing Porphyria. This difference may be the reason he kills her, so that he can keep her forever. The lover feels that “all his love has been in vain” because Porphyria is too proud to marry him. By killing her he ensures that he keeps her forever “that moment she was mine, mine, fair” “and all night long we have not stirred” (line 59). In line 59 he uses the word ‘we’, suggesting that Porphyria is still there. But she will not stir, as she is dead.
Line 33 states that Porphyria worshiped the lover. This is because she was blinded by love. ” Porphyria worshipped me; surprise”
The lover talks about himself in third person to distance himself from what he has done and makes it seem less human and perhaps try to convince himself that it was someone else who killed her. An example of the lover using third person is line 15 “and she called me. When no voice replied,” the voice that didn’t reply was his own.
“And strangled her. No pain felt she; ” “I am quite sure she felt no pain. ” The significance of repeating ‘no pain’ is to convince himself that it was the truth.
When Porphyria is dead he uses similes that describe her as if she was still alive. “as a shut bud that holds a bee, ” this line is stating that her eyes are closed like she is asleep. “I warily oped her lids: again” ” laughter her blue eyes without a stain.” He then opens her eyelids and she her blue eyes, which look at him peacefully. This is a contrast with the original image portrayed when she was alive. As he has a mixture of hate and love for her, and then he only has love for her when she dies.
The last line ” And yet God has not said a word!” This line maintains that the lover was not punished by anyone for his sin. And he is guilt free.