The poet describes the speaker of this dramatic monologue as a man who lives in a cottage in the countryside. In a cold and windy night, his lover, Porphyria, comes to his cottage and lights a fire to keep them warm. The girl then talks of how she loves him. However, the man in this poem has a relatively low social state, since he talks about how Porphyria struggles to set her passion free from pride? (Browning 23). The speaker soon realized that Porphyria will eventually give in to the societys pressure, and he wants to keep her love to him forever. As a result of his possession the speaker strangles Porphyria to death, and then he sits with the corpse for the entire night. At the end he mentioned that he thinks God has not yet moved to punish him. One of the main themes in the poem is the theme of possession, which can be examined by exploring the speakers mind, and his motives.
The speaker obviously is in love with Porphyria, and he wants all the girls love in return. When he finally confirmed that she loves him too, he is satisfied, but yet not enough. He mentioned ? That moment she was mine, mine, fair, perfectly pure and good when she told him about her love, at the same time he also realizes that her love will not remain forever, and he will ultimately lose his possession of her. This lost of possession finally becomes his motive to murder the girl, so her love will remain forever? The speaker is eventually satisfied, and he toys with the corpse, just like he owns her body. He gains his will in an aberrant way. The poem is a typical dramatic monologue, which has a speaker talking to a dead corpse, pretending it is alive (Browning 58). This monologue happens after the speakers action, and the speaker tells the whole story. One can explore the speakers mind while he speaks.