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My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover Seminar

Contrary to popular belief, "Damn It" is not God's last name.

Will Hamm

on 24 October 2013

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Transcript of My Last Duchess and Porphyria's Lover Seminar

Murder by Love
Was reading and writing well at the age of five
Was inspired by Percy Shelley's poetry, at thirteen,
to become a vegetarian and an atheist
By age fourteen he had learned Latin, Greek, and French
Went to the University of London at the age of sixteen
Influenced well known poets such as Robert Frost
Robert Browning
Was born
in 1812
What was Browning's Son's nickname?
A) Pen
B) Pencil
C) Crayon
D) Marker

My Last Duchess
Porphyria's Lover
Not all of his work
was a success
Both poems are about a man who claims to love a girl but choose to eventually kill her for his own reasons
My Last Duchess
The Duke is negotiating for a new wife
When he sees the picture of his former wife he vents his feelings about her
She is killed out of jealousy
He orders her to die
(Poetry Seminar)
What is love?
Porphyria's Lover
Prophyria at the beginning just seems to be a normal girl
However the man she is with kills her
She is killed so no one else can be with her
He strangles her
The rain set early in tonight,
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 endeavor,
To set its struggling passion free
From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
And give herself to me forever.
But passion sometimes would prevail,
Nor could tonight’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 worshiped 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
That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall,
Looking as if she were alive. I call
That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf’s hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said
“Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read
Strangers like you that pictured countenance,
The depth and passion of its earnest glance,
But to myself they turned (since none puts by
The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)
And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,
How such a glance came there; so, not the first
Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not
Her husband’s presence only, called that spot
Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps
Fra Pandolf chanced to say “Her mantle laps
Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint
Must never hope to reproduce the faint
Half-flush that dies along her throat”: such stuff
Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough
For calling up that spot of joy. She had
A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad,
Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er
She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.
Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast,
The dropping of the daylight in the West,
The bough of cherries some officious fool
Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule
She rode with round the terrace—all and each
Would draw from her alike the approving speech,
Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked
Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name
With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame
This sort of trifling? Even had you skill
In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will
Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this
Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,
Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let
Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set
Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse,
—E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose
Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt,
Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without
Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;
Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands
As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet
The company below, then. I repeat,
The Count your master’s known munificence
Is ample warrant that no just pretence
Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;
Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed
At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go
Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,
Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,
Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!
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!
The Characters
Each character feels like he owns a woman
The characters both care more about themselves
than the woman that they "possess"
Both show power over their significant other
In the Last Duchess where
does it state that she dies?
A) Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!
B) The bough of cherries some officious fool
C) This grew I gave command
Then all smiles stopped together
D) Too soon made glad.
Too easily impressed
E) All of the above
In My Last Duchess the Duke
shows he cares more about himself
than others when
A) Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!
B) The bough of cherries some officious fool
C) This grew I gave command
Then all smiles stopped together
E) A and D only
D) As if she ranked
My gift of a nine-hundred years-old name
With anybody's gift.
What popular movie is the second song we played for you located in
A) Twilight
B) The Lord of the Rings
C) Star Wars
D) Halloween
E) Harry Potter
to have as belonging to one; have as property; own: to possess a house and a car.
In your opinion what is a possession?
What is your most prized possession?

Cause of Death: Candlestick
Thunder Fist!
(exclamation point included
in name)
Killed in : The Library
Killed by: Joe Kickass McBlood Torch III
The Painter by Chris De Burgh
What do you find in common between
the song and both poems?
How does Porphyria die?
How is the setting in
Porphyria's lover important
What themes do the poems have in common?
What is the name of our example murderer?
Who is the author of the poems?
In My Last Duchess, where is the duchess?
A) She is strangled
B) Gunshot
C) Candlestick
D) Drowns
E)Beaten with own skull
A) Love
B) Possession
C) Death
D) Jealousy
E) All of the above
A) It isn't
B) Sets the theme
C) Shows how important Porphyria
is to her lover
D) Eventually kills her
E) It reminds people to buy cheese
A) Robert Frost
B) Thunder Fist!
C) George Lucas
D) Robert Browning
E) Robert Brown
A) Charles Manson
B) Thunder Fist!
C) Lightening Fist!
D) Joe Kickass Mcblood Torch III
E) Ashley Pellegrino
A) In a ditch
B) In a painting
C) Dead
D) At tea
E) Both B and C
Example Profile
That's all folks
Were you paying attention?
How does each character "own"
the woman he loves?


a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
What do you find in common between
the two poems?
Full transcript