Les Grands Seigneurs

This set of cards is around the poem 'Les Grands Seigneurs' by Dorothy Molloy. It covers the context, language, structure, form and feelings and attittudes.

HideShow resource information


  • Narrator's talking about the men she has had relationships with in the past.
    • She presents the men as protective and entertaining, but also vain.
  • She was like a queen and the men played the part of her rescuer.
    • Part of the medieval courtly love tradition in which men tried to win the hearts of virtuous women by doing courageous deeds.
  • Now she's married and has been transformed into a modern wife who must do what her husband wants.
1 of 5


  • There is language of courtly love.
    • References to medieval romance and courtly love traditions distance the narrator from her past.
    • Makes her past seem more romantic but also quite unreal.
  • There are metaphors in the poem as well.
    • List of metaphors used to describe men.
    • They include birds, buildings and animals which associate men with certain characteristics.
  • There is also modern language.
    • Contemporary language brings the narrator back to the present day and contrasts with the romantic world of courtly love.
    • Reminds us that she has a different life now.
2 of 5


  • Poem begins with the narrator's lighthearted reflection on her past.
  • Tone then changes in stanza four whn she thinks about her present reality.
  • Quick chang in tone emphasises the way her life was transformed overnight when she became someone's wife.
3 of 5


  • Poem is written from the point of view of the female narrator.
  • Poet uses sets of lists, enjambment and caesura so that the poem flows like natural speech.
4 of 5

Feelings and Attitudes


  • Narrator seems to have romantic feelings towards the men of her past.
  • She uses the courtly love tradition to illustrate the way they used to act the different parts of courtly lovers when they were together.


  • Narrator seen as a courtly love queen, showing that she has control of her life.
  • Howver, there is a shift in power when she marries because her husband has control.
  • It seems that she's inferior to him.


  • She seems quite nostalgic and sentimental about her past.
5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all AQA Anthology resources »