Medusa By Carol Ann Duffy Analysis Essay

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Poem Analysis: Medusa by Carol Ann Duffy

923 WordsApr 22nd, 20134 Pages

Medusa by Carol Ann Duffy

The poem Medusa explores the theme of jealousy and anger; the poet illustrates this using the extended metaphor of a Greek mythological creature Medusa, whose story describes her as a beautiful maiden that is turned into a hideous creature after being raped by Poseidon. The poet furthermore links this metaphor to the theme of feminism when she describes the women in the poem overpowering the man that hurt her.

The language in this poem is quite harsh, emphasising the anger ‘Medusa’ feels for this man. There is a lexical field of destruction and disgust ‘shattered’ ‘filthy’ ‘stank’ that connotes the negative feelings of envy and fury that the poet is feeling. The poem as a whole is very figurative, mirroring…show more content…

The imagery further portrays how ‘Medusa’ undergoes the transformation and changes into someone else. This is shown when she first ‘glanced at a buzzing bee’ then at a ‘singing bird’ then ‘ginger cat’ and finally ‘snuffling pig’. She turns all these animals into rocks of different proportions, and each one is bigger than the one before. This shows how she is learning to use her power, and perhaps mirrors the increasing knowledge she is gaining as well as confidence in her self. First it is ‘I glanced’ which is less definite than ‘I looked’ suggesting that she was first looking at these objects with not much purpose, but as she learned of what happens when she does, it is then ‘I looked’ as she is more sure of what she can do and more determined to do so. Her power is tragic however. The bee was ‘buzzing’, the bird was ‘singing’ and the pig was ‘snuffling’ before she turned them all into rocks. She is literally taking the life away, but because the poet put these active verbs before the animals, it highlights how deathly Medusa’s look is.

The whole poem is free verse, which signifies the freedom the poet now feels. She has transformed into a stronger creature, that is more threatening and free than the woman she was before has been. She has progressed; she looked in the mirror, and saw a ‘dragon’, this shows how she herself feels that she changed; she has become more powerful.


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