Eurydice

Context

In Greek mythology, Eurydice was an oak nymph or one of the daughters of Apollo. She was the wife of Orpheus, who tried to bring her back from the dead with his enchanting music.

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Content

Themes:

  • Death
  • Power
  • Dominance
  • Gender
  • Love
  • Music

Duffys Main Message is that females voices should be heard in literature 

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Language Devices

This section is full of emphasis, notably repetition of ‘black’ and ‘words’.

Duffy also uses ‘language’ and ‘full stop’ and ‘words’ – a language-related lexical field.

The predominant assonant vowel ‘o’ implies an open mouth, a gasp. The effect is of negativity. Black and empty as this place seems to be, Eurydice doesn’t appear to want language. This complex section ends as it began with a simple, brief colloquial statement ‘It suited me down to the ground.’

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Structural Devices

The reference to ‘girls’ throughout the poem is like a refrain, to keep the reader aware that this is a feminist poet addressing other women. Duffy is writing about a mythological woman who represents weary, exasperated women the world over. Eurydice could be regarded as an allegory for all unhappily married females.

This short emphatic statement, a one-line stanza, is the dramatic climax. Its abrupt ending forms a caesura. The reader pauses to think of the significance.

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