Anaylsis of Medusa- Carol Ann Duffy

  • The poem is analysed using the method of FLIRTS (in doc the method is explained- what each letter means)
  • Includes quotations
  • If you could rewrite those note briefly in an exam, therefore you won't run out of things to say

Tips:

  • Make your own version of this, but bullet point instead(simplified)
  • Print off the poem and find appropriate quotations for each part needed for the analysis, e.g for language
Preview of Anaylsis of Medusa- Carol Ann Duffy

Extracted text:

GCSE Anthology- Character and voice. AQA Syllabus
Medusa- By Carol Ann Duffy
Method- FLIRTS (Form, language, imagery, rhythm, tone and subject)
F- Dramatic Monologue, which is in the view of a jealous wife. In this poem,
Medusa expresses her bitter feelings about becoming old and unwanted. The
poem is being directed at her husband. It is divided in to irregular stanzas,
except the last line which is emphasised because it is isolated- her anger builds
up to the last line. The poem uses simple structure and vocab because her
feelings are not complicated; she is clear on how she feels towards her husband.
Lines are short and emphatic to represent simple thoughts.
L- The language of seeing connects the narrator to Medusa- Language of vision
and what is seen. Vision in this poem can be interpreted at ambiguous because
it can be either loving or dangerous. E.g. `'look at me now'', perhaps she wants
him to look at her rather than the girls, or she wants to turn him to stone.
Looking could be either caring or fatal. Repetition- line 36: `'Your girls, your
girls'', representing jealously and their youthfulness (for emphasis). Line 8: `'I'm
foul mouthed now, foul tounged''- her hateful thoughts and words have led to
physical decay. Line 40 and 41: `'Wasn't I beautiful? Wasn't I fragrant and
young?'', questions indicate her vulnerability which makes her seem suddenly
human again.
I- Violent Imagery is used, the narrator seems to take pleasure in imagining
violence in the poem. This highlights her anger and seems shocking because it is
expressed in such an extreme, destructive way. Metaphor- line 10: `'There are
bullet tears'', her emotions are dangerous. Onomatopoeia- line 22: `'A handful
of dusty gravel spattered down'', emphasises her violent actions. The whole
poem is an extended metaphor for a jealous woman who turns against her
partner. Although jealousy makes Medusa dangerous, she also loses a lot: her
hair turns to `'filthy snakes'' and her breath `'soured stank''. She is aware of the
change in herself: by the end of the poem the rhetorical questions `'Wasn't I
beautiful? Wasn't I fragrant and young?'' show her bitterness at being betrayed

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Page 2

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Extracted text:

GCSE Anthology- Character and voice. AQA Syllabus
and sadness at that change. The extended metaphor is further developed in her
description of her man who was a `'Greek God'' (a clichéd description of a
handsome man but wittily appropriate in context). His heart is metaphorically a
`'shield'', suggesting that he was unable to open up and love her properly.
R- The poem is rich in alliteration and rhyme, helping to unify the lines and
create a sense of rhythm even in free verse.

Page 3

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Extracted text:

GCSE Anthology- Character and voice. AQA Syllabus
would die. A woman feels betrayed by her husband. She is full of destructive
emotions of a jealous woman. Changes have taken place in her. In the end she
feels insecure about herself.

Comments

Paul Dutton

Sun 23rd February, 2014 @ 17:51

A detailed guide to the poem with some handy revision tips included.

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