Mrs Midas

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THEMES
Loss (relationship), fear (of husband), greed/ selfishness (Mr Midas), regret (Mrs Midas losing husband)
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STYLE
Dramatic monologue, Duffy uses the voice of Mrs Midas from the Greek Play.
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STRUCTURE
11 stanzas each has 6 lines, not rhyming
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It was late September.
At this time of year gold often appears naturally and life in nature ends- like Mr and Mrs Midas's relationship. An atmosphere of normalcy is created.
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... It sat in his palm like a light bulb. / I though to myself, is he putting fairy lights in the tree?
Simile for Mr Midas turning a pear to gold. The delay and isolation of "on" emphasises the golden glow. Mrs Midas's confusion adds an element of comedy.
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He sat in that chair like a king on a burnished throne. /The look on his face was strange, wild, vain.
Simile of the throne links to original myth about Kind Midas. The chair has turned to gold. List of adjectives emphasises Mr Midas's lack of undarstanding of the implications of his wish; explore the theme of greed; Mrs Midas is afraid and confused.
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Within seconds he was spitting out the teeth of the rich.
Metaphor of the corn kernels and gold teeth and the violence of the word "spitting" show the first negative aspect of the wish as Mr Midas can no longer eat. And the teeth comparisons creates a creepy atmosphere. The hyperbole creates a comic effect.
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He toyed with his spoon...
"Toyed" has connotations of playfulness which suggests that this is all a game for Mr Midas.
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as he picked up the glass, goblet, golden chalice, drank.
The repitition of "g" and the list emphasises the supernatural change to gold that the glass goes through. Chalice reminds us of Jesus at the last supper, like Mr Midas's last meal, and of a poison chalice which will kill him like his wish.
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I made him sit/ on the other side of the room and keep his hands to himself.
Enjambment delays reason which adds comic effect. The tone gets darker as she starts to take precautions. Mrs Midas is shown to be a practical character.
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The toilet I didn't mind.
A toilet is sometimes referred to as a throne which adds a comic effect. Mrs Midas is shown to be a good humoured character who doesn't allow herself to be overwhelmed by a situation. The light-hardheartedness contrasts with the dark mood.
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Look, we all have wishes; granted. /But who has wishes granted?
Deleberate pause created by line break to emphasis the unlikely event. Pun on "granted" and balanced structure shows Mrs Midas comic annoyance towards her husband.
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Seperate beds.
Mrs Midas is shown to be a practical character. Abrupy minor sentence signals the end of the humorous tone and that Mrs Midas is becoming more scared of her husband.
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He was below, turning the spare room/ into the tomb of Tutankhamun.
"Below" shows the widening gap in the relationship. "Tomb" hints that Mr Midas will due due to his wish. "Tutankhamun" was an Egyptian king who was buried with all his golden riches, literally and like Mr Midas will die because of his golden touch.
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... unwrapping each other, rapidly /like presents, fast food.
Simile suggests the passion and excitement between the couple which was how their relationship was before the wish.
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... But now I feared his honeyed embrace, /the kiss that would turn my lips into a work of art.
Mrs Midas regrets her husband's selfishness as her love has turned to fear. His kiss would be a kiss of death and although she would be valuable, she would be useless and dead.
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heart of gold
Metaphor is ironically inverted as it's literal meaning should be impossible. Metaphorically a heart of gold shows kindness yet here it brings death.
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... its little tongue /like a precious latch, its amber eyes holding their pupils like flies.
The dream is a simile. The dream is disturbing and reminds us that bearing his child can only be a dream now. The child isn't a symbol of new life, it's a symbol of death which can be seen through the trapped flies and flies swarm around corpses.
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So he had to move out.
Blunt tone is matter of fact and shows us that the tone is about the tragic consequences of the wish and is devoid of the earlier ironic humour.
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a beautiful lemon mistake
Everything about the gift is a mistake, like the fish.
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Pure selfishness.
Minor sentence emphasises her anger towards Mr Midas.
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I miss most, /even now, his hands, his warm hands on my skin, his touch
Final sentence is poignant and wistful. Reptition of "hands" shows their old physically passionate relationship. Contrast between warm hands and cold gold. Ironically she misses his touch which is what destroyed the marriage.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Dramatic monologue, Duffy uses the voice of Mrs Midas from the Greek Play.

Back

STYLE

Card 3

Front

11 stanzas each has 6 lines, not rhyming

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

At this time of year gold often appears naturally and life in nature ends- like Mr and Mrs Midas's relationship. An atmosphere of normalcy is created.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Simile for Mr Midas turning a pear to gold. The delay and isolation of "on" emphasises the golden glow. Mrs Midas's confusion adds an element of comedy.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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