The Area of study that I have undertaken thus far has been ???Change??™ and through the texts of the famous poet, Robert Browning, we explore the concept of change and how ultimately this change affects us and the things around us. Good evening students and teachers. Through this speech today I will explain how the poems of Robert Browning relate to change, its values and how the concept of change is relevant to our contemporary world. The three texts that I have chosen for this particular speech includes ???My Last Duchess??™, ???The Bishop orders his Tomb at St Praxed??™s church??™ and ???Porphyrias Lover??™. Trough Browning texts, we have several different changes such as a change in personality, mood, perspective, emotion, environment as well as the main character undergoing change himself. As we can see from the main character of ???My Last Duchess??™ we have a Duke who eventually murders his mistress due to his personality as he regards himself very highly and is overpowered by his ignorance and jealousy.
The Duke is very possessive of women and sees them as objects, where as in today??™s society men generally respect women. As readers, we see the Duke as a character which is disliked due to his personality and ego. Eventually readers come realise and accept Duke as a ???villainy??™ character which allows the readers to make a distinction between the past and the present value systems. Through this poem we also see that women were expected to marry and it was their goal to as it reflected morality, financial security and social class and status. As well, in ???The Bishop Orders His Tomb??™ we have a dying bishop planning his burial.
This bishop is more concerned with how and where his body will be placed, than with Salvation. His real fear is the quality and state of his tomb as he urges his ???nephews??™ to obey his requests. Though there is no abrupt changes observed in his action, through the observation of his personality, readers see a man of god whom challenges the preconceptions of the church. As readers, we see a bishop as a holy and humble person. Although through Brownings text, we see someone who is greedy and ignorant, conveying irony and satire to the poem. It is apparent that through realising that our perspectives have changed, it also changes our perception on today??™s society as well.
The distinction that our contemporary world today is all about money and power holds a sense of truth as well as in Brownings poem. Similarly through the last of Browning text in title ???Porphyrias Lover??™ we have a killer that strangles Porphyria with her own hair to preserve a single moment of passion and love that he has for her. It is evident through reading and analysing this text, readers are given inference that Browning himself possibly had a darker or different side to his poems than first initially thought. At the time of this poem, it seemed that illicit sex out of married state was a problem and of concern for the Victorian society as through the poem, readers learn that Porphyria is defying her friends and family to be with the speaker. In saying that though it seems that the disturbing and forbidding act carried out in this scene was made to appear natural, acceptable and even elegant and beautiful.
It is apparent after analysing this poem that Browning is exploring the boundaries of violence and sexual activities. Descriptive language is also used to represent and convey different emotions and actions that the killer undergoes during the moment where he strangles Porphyria. In conclusion to the three texts that have been said, they share a common concepts of change to the readers, the poet and the characters inside and outside the text which links them together. Through more specific texts such as ???My Last Duchess??™ and ???Porphyrias Lover??™ they reflect a more stronger message about violence, sex, poverty and those that have changed due to the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century. Thus through his texts, the deeper message basically regards to the British culture and their new conditions of urban living. I hope that from this speech today that I have explained how these texts convey ideas which are relevant to our contemporary world.
It is through things that change, we change and as we change, things change.