Literary Devices in Porphyria's Lover

Dramatic Monologue: A dramatic monologue is a poem written from the perspective of a character with a unique point of view and set of motives. As the story within the poem unfolds, the speaker reveals more and more about his inner thoughts and beliefs. Browning wrote several dramatic monologues in his life, including “The Last Duchess.”

Rhyme and Meter: “Porphyria’s Lover” nearly follows a classic ballad form. Metrically, the lines follow the songlike four-beat tetrameter. The rhymes have an ABABB scheme. Browning’s formal choices give each five-line stanza a feeling of forward momentum that ends with a perplexing, repetitive final line. The final B-rhyme in each stanza is disturbing in a way that matches the poem’s unsettling atmosphere.

Literary Devices Examples in Porphyria's Lover:

Porphyria's Lover 1

"That moment she was mine, mine, fair..."   (Porphyria's Lover)

The speaker’s repetition of “mine” suggests his excitement and feeling of intense possessiveness. The word also provides some insight into the character’s coming actions. The speaker wishes to hold onto “that moment she was mine” and will go to extreme measures to hold onto that moment.