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Porphyria's Lover

Porphyria's Lover

by Robert Browning

Society and Class Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up, and all the cottage warm; (8-9)

The fact that the speaker lives in a "cottage" that didn't even have a fire on a cold and stormy night suggests that he belongs to a lower class.

Quote #2

[…] she
Too weak, for all her heart's endeavour,
To set its struggling passion free
From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
And give herself to me forever[…] (20-25)

Porphyria, we're told, has been struggling with "pride" as she decides whether or not to be with the speaker. What are those "vainer ties" that she's thinking about breaking? Is she already married? Or does she belong to a higher social class than the speaker?

Quote #3

But passion sometimes would prevail,
Nor could tonight's gay feast restrain (26-27)

Here's another clue that Porphyria belongs to a higher social class than the speaker: she skipped out on a "gay feast" to be with him. If she lived in a cold cottage like his, she wouldn't have many invitations to "gay feasts."

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