Analyse at least two dramatic monologues and explore how the poet creates a realistic and shocking ‘voice’. A Dramatic monologue is a type of poem which is written in the first person and describes the character’s feelings, actions and thoughts. The lead character in the poem has a huge influence over the audiences’ feelings and thoughts as its only their words that is being portrayed, this creates empathy and that is how sometimes the poems are used, for example “Education for leisure” and “Porphyria’s Lover” are a type of dramatic monologue.
Moreover Dramatic monologues are used sometimes to add shock and a sense of realism as they can usually be true or based on true life, however they are also one sided as the one character is describing the scene and he makes us believe what they are portraying is the. The focus of this essay is particularly on “Porphyria’s lover” which is a pre 1900 and is written by Robert Browning. He was famous for the dramatic poems he wrote which revealed his character unintentionally.
On the other hand “Education for leisure” is written by Carrol Ann Duffy who writes even more outstanding poems. On the contrary these two dramatic monologues both create a realistic and shocking voice through their structure and the language which will be examined in this essay. Despite the likeness of the monologues they both have different meanings to them. however they both use violence to shock the reader as in “Education for leisure” the character is describing killing small insects until it reaches it’s limits and moves on to a very horrific scene of saying “I touch your arm” this would startle the reader and panic as that person could be anyone nd this would add shock to who the next person would be.
The meaning behind this dramatic monologue is that the character in this monologue is tired of being ignored and it is causing him/her to react to it this way. The monologue also uses its title to give us the back ground of the poem as it’s called “education for leisure” which questions the reader’s mind as you think education is important so it adds interest too the title seems ironic as we read on we can find out that this person’s education has done them no good and caused them distress in life, and we can sense dramatic irony from the title as its telling us the education is for fun and not important however in real life it should be.
This adds shock and realism as we see lots of people go through this in everyday life but also makes us think well we don’t want to turn like that. Nevertheless “Porphyria’s Lover” is an account of someone who impatiently is waiting for their lover to return and as time goes past they get more violent and their mood swings add shock of how they feel unloved or angry.
As it was written in the pre 1900s it adds shock as these two people are committing adultery and as the 1900s are seen as the time when morality was a big part of life. On the surface the Victorian times was seen as a moral time where people did the right thing and women were covered and sex before marriage was not done and sins were avoided.
By contrast that was not the case as even from this dramatic monologue we can see the scandals lay uncovered and it was worse but people did not dig deep enough to see them so we can see at the end the man kills the woman as a way of rage and the meaning behind this is adultery was a sin and if caught the penalty was death here the man made Porphyria pay this by killing her. She paid the price. this added shock to the pre 1900 audience to see such violence and how sexually suggestive the women is in this monologue which would mean people would start to be more aware of what is going on around them and how people behave. The realism is that the actual facts were teenage pregnancies were very high this would help make the monologue realistic.
“Porphyiria’s Lover” starts with a negative mood. It starts by describing stormy weather, but it uses personification as we can see by his word choice that he is putting his feelings in the way the weather is reacting like him and the weather has the same feelings. Pathetic fallacy is when objects are used to describe their feelings like a human and here Robert Browning describes the weather as “vexed” and full of “spite” despite us knowing this is how he is actually feeling, therefore the weather is describing the plot and the emotions. we can see that deep down this is what he is feeling but we do not know why, this is a way the language is used to add shock and interest as it makes the reader shocked to why he is using such strong words and what is making him feel so upset.
When his lover returns he describes “she put my arm around her waist” and” made her smooth white shoulders bare. ” this shows how sexually suggestive the lover is and as this was in the pre 1900s it was seen as not having any modesty, it would shock the reader as how can someone do such a thing as these things laid uncovered and here it is being revealed very openly the way he describes the woman in such a sexual way describing her shoulders as “smooth” shows how he craves for her touch and shows love and sexual feelings, this creates realism as some people may have felt this before and feel empathy with the writer.
However suddenly after all that speech about love and the way their bodies touched and craved for each other, he suddenly gets violent and angry. We can see this by the language he uses. At the start he described her hair as “yellow hair” but now his language was a contrast and described the hair as “one long yellow string”.
This shows us how he does not see her as beautiful anymore and the sexual feelings are not there anymore. He now sees her hair like a tool. The connotations could be that the hate now makes the hair seem like a weapon for killing. When he commits the murder he replies “no pain felt she” here we can tell the murderer is trying to take away the negativity and has a guilty conscious as he replies again “I am quite sure she felt no pain. ” By repeating himself he is trying to reassure himself it was right and that se had not felt anything as he wants to make sure as there might be some kind of love still deep within that he feels for her.