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Porphyria's Lover

Porphyria's Lover

by Robert Browning

Passivity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

She put my arm about her waist, (16)

The speaker is so passive and apathetic that he just lets Porphyria move his arms around like a doll.

Quote #5

I propped her head up as before,
Only, this time my shoulder bore
Her head, which droops upon it still (49-51)

By the second half of the poem, the tables have turned: now Porphyria is the passive one (because she's dead), and the speaker moves her body around as though she were a doll.

Quote #6

The smiling rosy little head,
So glad it has its utmost will (52-53)

The speaker refers to Porphyria just as a "head" – an object, something that can't have a "will" of its own at all.

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