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Medusa. Read the poem… Stanza One A suspicion, a doubt, a jealousy grew in my mind, which turned the hairs on my head to filthy snakes as though my thoughts.

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Presentation on theme: "Medusa. Read the poem… Stanza One A suspicion, a doubt, a jealousy grew in my mind, which turned the hairs on my head to filthy snakes as though my thoughts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Medusa

2 Read the poem…

3 Stanza One A suspicion, a doubt, a jealousy grew in my mind, which turned the hairs on my head to filthy snakes as though my thoughts hissed and spat on my scalp. Dramatic Monologue Based on the Greek Myth Medusa was a priestess for Athena who was seduced by Poseidon. Athena was so angry that she turned her into a Gorgon so that if she looked at a man she would turn them to stone. This poem could be read from the perspective of any scorned woman = extended metaphor The suspicion appears to be about an unfaithful lover – Duffy has recreated the myth by giving psychological reasons for her physical change Onomatopoeia and alliteration

4 Stanza Two My bride’s breath soured, stank in the grey bags of my lungs. I’m foul mouthed now, foul tongued, yellow fanged. There are bullet tears in my eyes. Are you terrified? Sibilance Plosive alliteration

5 Stanza Three Be terrified. It’s you I love, perfect man, Greek God, my own; but I know you’ll go, betray me, stray from home. So better by for me if you were stone. imperative She loves him, yet is terrified he will leave her She wants him to be stone so he physically can’t leave – possessive love

6 Stanza Four I glanced at a buzzing bee, a dull grey pebble fell to the ground. I glanced at a singing bird, a handful of dusty gravel spattered down The speaker is demonstrating her powers

7 Stanza Five I looked at a ginger cat, a housebrick shattered a bowl of milk. I looked at a snuffling pig, a boulder rolled in a heap of shit. The speaker is demonstrating her powers Why do you think she uses the swear word ‘shit’ instead of the more polite ‘poo’?

8 Stanza Six I stared in the mirror. Love gone bad showed me a Gorgon. I stared at a dragon. Fire spewed from the mouth of a mountain. The speaker’s power has grown In the last three stanzas the verbs have become stronger – glanced – looked – stared, why do you think this is? In the last three stanzas, note the half- rhyme – what does it suggest?

9 Stanza Seven And here you come with a shield for a heart and a sword for a tongue and your girls, your girls. Wasn’t I beautiful Wasn’t I fragrant and young? This stanza addresses Perseus directly (from the myth). He is prepared to fight her and is protected In the last two lines of this stanza, Medusa’s sadness seems to be the same as most women’s – fading beauty and looks

10 Stanza Eight Look at me now. This is ambiguous – if we do look at her we’ll be turned to stone however, we are almost tricked into looking at her through sympathy Simple and direct language is used throughout the poem

11 In the poem Myth and modern age are mixed The poem has a timeless quality – beauty is still a concern nowadays Her suspicions and jealousy have turned her physically ugly Her ability to love has destroyed her through the male’s betrayal The poem shows psychological depth, the inability to love through fear of abandonment


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