Poem Analysis: Medusa by Carol Ann Duffy Essay

945 Words May 14th, 2013 4 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
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The sentence length varies, and the longer sentences have more punctuation. Therefore the pace is frequently interrupted and this portrays the feeling of ruination and decomposition which links to the idea of Medusa turning the animals into rocks and therefore interrupting the flow of life. The use of rhetorical questions is very effective in this poem, because it questions the reader and highlights the themes in the poem. The question ‘Are you terrified?’ is showing this woman becoming more dangerous and more powerful, thus leaving the man helpless. The fact that the next line simply states ‘Be terrified’ shows that she doesn’t care about an answer, she knows he should be, thus in commanding tone she tells him so. This brings in the theme of feminism, and how this woman is overpowering the man in this poem.

In the poem Medusa, the poet mainly describes the transformation this woman goes through and the gain in power she experiences. She learns to use this newfound ability and becomes stronger, thus being able to dominate the man that caused her to feel such jealousy and unhappiness. The ending is especially powerful, both structurally and in content. It’s a straightforward, bold and simple thus delivering that final blow to the reader. ‘Look at me now.’ is in a sense a command to die, because it is known that if Medusa looks you in the eye, you turn into stone. Therefore the woman here is declaring her superiority by daring the man to face her and

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