The poet displays a foundation for the mood of the night by explaining the weather around him. This is important as the weather highly affects a person's mood. The weather indicates that there is a strong force alive: wind seems angry and is tumultuous, and the poet's emotions seem to be on the same page. He is filled with emotion and his heavy heart is expecting the worst to happen, which is a premonition of the near-future events. The poet is happy yet tries to hide his relief when Porphyria comes in. She is his savior and hero, having fought with the storm and keeping it out of the house. Her mere presence makes the man feel warm and lights up the entire room. She immediately senses that the poet is worried and filled with negative emotion as she comforts him. It is clear that she is beautiful in his eyes and they were once deeply in love. The poet admits that because of pride, misunderstandings and society, their love is coming to an end.
However, he quickly takes back that thought when he realizes that she traveled through the storm to be with him, which would mean that there was still a flame in between them. "Porphyria worshipped me; surprise made my heart swell, and still it grew" (34). The poet's saddened emotions are quickly replaced with joy as he finally realizes that she still loves him. He realized that this was the time to eternalize that love. Fearful that her love might diminish or end, he passionately kills her. The story takes a morbid turn when the poet, clearly experiencing a change in the mental state, begins to play with the corpse. He admires it and loves it as he wants. To him, he feels a strange satisfaction, a sense of safety that his love will never change or escape him. However, I feel that the poet was in his complete senses, even though he was obsessed with Porphyria. He realizes that he must be punished and what he has done is plain murder. The ending lines, "And yet God has not said a word!" indicate that he is surprised how easy it was to commit the crime, and that even God is not punishing him yet.
As I read the poem, I felt what the poet was feeling through the power of his words. I felt the wind roaring saw it pushing large trees. I felt a chill in my spine as I became worried about what was bothering the poet. As Porphyria entered, I was overwhelmed by her beauty; although I first imagined her to have auburn hair and then the image quickly changed with Browning's description. Porphyria seemed a positive soul to me, embedding a contagious love and positivity that lit up even the depressed poet. However, I did get the sense that even though there was a strong love between the two, the girl had come to bid farewell. In her mind, she was breaking up amicably and wanted to part as friends. Her companion had other plans. I gasped as I read the lines, "And all her hair in one long yellow string I wound three times her little throat around" (40).
I realized what was coming next and I was amazed at the poet's technique of instantly turning happiness into a tragedy. I did not even have to read the next lines to realize what had been done. There was no going back now and it was at this moment that I saw the man through the eyes of a critic. He was psychotic to say the least. Even though Browning painted him as a passionate lover, I was unconvinced. I did not see him anything more than a murderer, a lover gone rogue. The poem was essentially about a terrible break up. What held my curiosity and continues to pin inside me is the cliff hanger. What was it that led the girl to leave such a passionate love? I then found my answer in her positivity. She knew his nature and therefore, painted a façade of happiness and gentleness in order to tame him. However, she failed and he was one step ahead of her, realizing that she knew his reality and was going to leave him. I will always remain curious as to his fate.
Browning, Robert. Porphyria's Lover