What Techniques Has Carol Ann Duffy Used in Her Poetry to Make Old Stories and Fables Relevant to Modern Audiences?

1426 Words May 31st, 2013 6 Pages
What techniques has Carol Ann Duffy used in her poetry to make old stories and fables relevant to modern audiences?
Comment on upon the use of language, imagery and structure.

'Mrs. Faust' is written in the casual, contemporary style which suits its setting and adds fittingly to the collection of 'The Worlds Wife'. In this collection most poems explore the feminist principles or the modern state of them. This poem however, introduces a new issue to the collection; the materialistic nature of middle class couples. Duffy transforms the 'Faust Myth', a protagonist of a classic German legend, into her own and uses a range of techniques in order to portray the dilemmas in modern society. By portraying these issues, Duffy is able to mimic
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Faust has the courage to admit her flaws, whereas Faust seems to be deflecting society’s taboo of 'greed', this foreshadows his future demise. Also the quote starts with 'Faust's face', this refers to his physical appearance and implies to the reader that she does not know much about him other than what she can see and perhaps what she does see is a reflection of herself, which could link to the main reason of their attachment; similarity. This is unusual in contrast to Duffy's typical heroines like ‘Mrs. Quasimodo’, as they are usually the victims of their partner’s wrong doings, whereas Mrs. Faust recognises that in her marriage it took 'two to tango', reflecting the typical downfall of materialistic marriages.
Furthermore, as the poem develops we see the remains of their relationship become non-existent. The reader can recognise the change in the way Mrs. Faust refers to her husband after the first stanza as 'Faust', a formal reference towards a husband instead of a more intimate pet name. This reflects that business partnerships in the form of a marriage for a materialistic reason do not last long. Ironic changes in Faust then occur, he receives the power to become pope, a position that brings him close to God even though he has constructed a deal with the Devil. However this relationship with God seems to have no effect on him as soon after he is taking part in things that have a negative effect on other people and his soul, which he has yet

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