The use of enjambment here effectively draws out this realisation to the reader and elongates the moment. The use of the word thing creates an unnerving picture in the reader’s mind as the speaker does not name his crime. The speaker does not see the significance in his actions and his mundane language hints at the depths of his delusion.
This, along with the mere three line description of the murder itself, is very simplistic.“all her hair/In one long yellow string I wound/Three times her little throat around,/And strangled her. ” There was no debate in the speaker’s mind and this shows that his actions were completely natural. Prior to the chilling description of the murder the speaker describes Porphyria at that moment in time as being “perfectly pure and good”. It is made clear that he kills her as he wants to preserve this moment forever; where none of the other complications in her life are interfering with them being together.
The narrator believes that by killing her he is giving her what she truly desired therefore it becomes immediately clear that he is not mentally stable. The inversion of word order here delays the fact that the speaker has actually killed Porphyria and thus proves to be very effective as it makes the impact of his demoralising actions hit the reader harder and come more as a shock. He genuinely believes that in killing her he has given Porphyria what she truly desired; the ability to be with him forever.
The narrator repeats that she “felt no pain” to emphasise this. The latter half of the poem is significant as it is the exact opposite from the beginning of the poem. There is symmetry replicating Porphyria’s actions in the first half. Every single thing is repeated; from letting her hair hang loose again to baring his shoulder and resting her head upon it. This adds to the previous point of the speaker feeling emasculated, he is now not the one in control. Porphyria is no longer the strong Victorian woman that she was; she is now viewed as the speaker’s doll.
His feelings towards them being together forever are now true in his eyes as he processes her. The reader is shocked at the brutality of the murder and the speaker’s casual nature towards the crime he has just committed. The narrator’s insanity and corruption is truly confirmed in the last line of the poem through a disturbing statement: “And yet God has not said a word! ” Here it is made clear the extent to which he believes what he did was acceptable and morally correct.
He does not think ahead of this moment in time when he sits with Porphyria; he believes that as he has not been condemned by God his actions have been correct. This again justifies the murder as insignificant to him and effectively leaves the reader believing that the speaker is a corrupt figure who shows no guilt in what he has done. The speaker is devious and egotistical. Browning successfully created a poem which made the reader think about the incidents that are described. This is no love poem, it is about a psychopath.