Having been a student of English literature, I am quite familiar with the poet Robert Browning and his dramatic monologues. But it is in a different context that I was drawn to his poem .“ Porphyria’s Lover” , which is about a lover , who after reclaiming his lost love kills his beloved- in a fit of uncontrollable euphoric frenzy - by strangulating her with her tresses . As per the poet’s explanation, he does this to perpetuate the feeling of love for him that he sees in the eyes of his beloved. This, to me and perhaps to many like me may only appear to be a case of abnormal psychology.The lover in this case is clearly a psychopath There are instances when a possessive husband like Othello, kills his beloved wife Desdemona on baseless suspicion of infidelity, the seeds of which are sown in his mind by Iago , the villain of the piece. There are also instances galore of jilted lovers killing the beloved , their professed love being one sided and unrequited , but this instance appears to be unique . This also puts to question the tag of “ incorrigible optimist “ attached to the poet Browning as this action of the lover stems from the uncertainty and insecurity that the future may hold as far as love life is concerned. This is also contrary to his popular belief :
“God is in his heaven and everything is right with the world ” , as how does one explain the killing of a young , innocent , unsuspecting woman at the hands of a person in whose company she seeks bliss of eternal love !
The link for the poem is :