Porphyria’s Lover Summary

In “Porphyria’s Lover”, the center of the speaker’s focus is the beautiful, blooming girl called Porphyria. The speaker acknowledges the girl’s passion and contrasts her against the storm outdoors. I believe the emphasis on the raging weather is used repeatedly to create the feeling of stark opposites. Even though she is wet and cold, Porphyria is glowing with passion. She is a roaring fire inside the cozy cottage. Then pride and pain come into the picture and the emphasis is put on the moral responsibilities of the young couple.

Porphyria seems to almost take pride in her sexual aggressiveness towards the speaker. But the speaker makes it very apparent that it is not appropriate or in their best interest. He uses the word vain many times to describe his love for her. He believes it is not moral to feel this way with someone he should not be with. Then he describes Porphyria as “perfectly pure and good”, which would further motivate him not to ruin her by engaging in inappropriate activities. He also describes her lively blush both when she is alive and dead.

It shows her girlishness and how everything was almost natural for her and even wholesome. Even the burning kiss after she is no longer breathing causes a blush. Then the speaker uses the word “pain” repeatedly. Mostly he is insisting that this lovely girl felt no pain and by strangling her, it was saving her from the future pain of being looked down upon. My/mine She/her Cheek Rosy/blushing Pride/proud Pain Vain Pale/white/bare Love/heart/passion Pure/good/perfect