Browning's poem 'Porphyria's Lover' explores the tension between the individual and social convention of the 19th century by subverting the social expectation of women to be passive and docile. The patriarchal society of Victorian England suppressed the outward manifestation of female identity and sexuality, by objectifying women and treating them as inferior. The shift in narrator voice in "Porphyria worshipped me... That moment she was mine, mine, fair" reflects the patriarchal nature of Victorian society, with the repetition of the possessive pronoun mine revealing that males would ultimately assert dominance over females. In "murmuring how she loved me... and give herself to me forever" suggests that Porphyria is entrapped in the passive role in which society expects her to remain. Porphyria's sexually forward behaviour is demonstrated in the vivid imagery, "her smooth white shoulder bare" which challenges the preordained ideas that women were to inhibit their sexuality and establish their value on their chastity. The church's role in instilling and consolidating values of female submissiveness is demonstrated in the biblical allusions, "And yet God has not yet said a word!" further emphasising the society's expectation of women. Hence, 'Porphyria's Lover' challenges traditional ways of thinking in 19th century England in which the society's perception of female behaviour and gender interactions were in place.