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Mrs. Faust By Carol Ann Duffy Presentation by Sebastian Campos.

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1 Mrs. Faust By Carol Ann Duffy Presentation by Sebastian Campos

2 Frank Abagnale

3 The Original Faust According to a German legend, Faust was a scientist and magician who sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. There is no correct or original legend. There was a person named Johann Georg Faust (1400’s – 1500’s), born in Germany. The first time Faust appeared in print was in 1587, in a chapbook. The world-wide known play is The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

4 Poem First things first - I married Faust. We met as students, shacked up, split up, made up, hitched up, got a mortgage on a house, flourished academically, BA. MA. Ph.D. No kids. Two toweled bathrobes. Hers. His. We worked. We saved. We moved again. Fast cars. A boat with sails. A second home in Wales. The latest toys – computers, mobile phones. Prospered. Moved again. Faust’s face was clever, greedy, slightly mad. I was as bad. I grew to love lifestyle, not the life. He grew to love the kudos, not the wife. He went to whores. I felt, not jealousy, but the chronic irritation. I went to yoga, t’ai chi, Feng Shui, therapy, colonic irrigation. And Faust would boast at dinner parties of the cost of doing deals out East. Then take his lust to Soho in cab, to say the least, to lay the ghost, get lost, meet panthers, feast. Legend: Allusion Repetition Slant Rhyme Rhyme Alliteration Enumeration Hyperbole Irony Imagery Enjambment

5 He wanted more. I came home late one winter’s evening, hadn’t eaten. Faust was upstairs in his study, in a meeting. I smelled cigar smoke, hellish, oddly sexy, not allowed. I heard Faust and the other laugh aloud. Next thing, the world, as Faust said, spread its legs. First politics - Safe seat. MP. Right Hon. KG. Than banks - offshore, abroad - and business - Vice-chairman. Chairman. Owner. Lord. Enough? Encore! Faust was Cardinal, Pope, knew more than God; flew faster than the speed of sound around the globe, lunched; walked on the moon, golfed, holed in one; lit a fat Havana on the Sun. Then backed a hunch - invested in smart bombs, in harms, Faust dealt in arms. Faust got in deep, got out. Bought farms, cloned sheep. Faust surfed the internet for like-minded Bo Peep. As for me, I went my own sweet way, saw Rome in a day, spun gold from hay, had a facelift, had my breasts enlarged, my buttocks tightened; went to China, Thailand, Africa, returned enlightened. Turned 40, celibate, teetotal, vegan, Buddhist, 41. Went blonde, redhead, brunette, went native, ape, berserk, bananas; went on the run, alone; went home.

6 Faust was in. A word, he said, I spent the night being pleasured by a virtual Helen of Troy. Faced that launched a thousand ships. I kissed its lips. Thing is - I’ve made a pact with Mephistopeheles, the Devil’s boy. He’s on his way to take away what’s owed, reap what I sowed. For all these years of gagging for it, going for it, rolling in it, I’ve sold my soul. At this, I heard a serpent’s hiss tasted evil, knew its smell, as scaly devil’s hands poked up right through the terracotta Tuscan tiles at Faust’s bare feet and dragged him, oddly smirking, there and then straight down to Hell. Oh, well. Faust’s will left everything- the yacht, the several houses, the Lear jet, the helipad, the loot, et cet, et cet, the lot - to me. C’est la vie. When I got ill it hurt like hell. I bought a kidney with my credit card, then I got well. I keep Faust’s secret still - the clever, cunning, callous bastard didn’t have a soul to sell.

7 Diction and Tone Informal: “Oh, well” (Line 118)/ “C’est la vie” (Line 127) Many pronouns: “We worked. We saved./ We moved again.” (Lines 10-11) Sarcastic and ironic tone: “The next thing, the world,/as Faust said,/spread its legs.” (Lines 46 – 48)

8 Literal Meaning First person – Mrs. Faust is the speaker. No apparent audience. Tells the story about a couple that came from wealth. Get married, but never have kids. Wealth grows and grows. Ends up just like the play or the legend: Faust is sent to hell. Mrs. Faust seems to have gained the most.

9 Figurative Meanings The lifestyle of Mr. and Mrs. Faust represent materialism. They spend their money on frivolous items. The only things that the pair care about is money and what it can buy, including power and women. Vain about their social outlook. Think that they can evade death. Greed. A bit critical of women in particular.

10 Form 15 stanzas, each with 9 lines. There are 3-12 syllables in each line Fast moving poem Free verse, no rhyme scheme. Rhyme is used though End rhymes: “A boat with sails.(Line 12)/A second home in Wales. (Line 13)” “But the chronic irritation. (Line 25)/ Feng Shui, therapy, colonic irrigation. (Line 27)

11 Form cont. Slant rhymes: “I married Faust” (Line 2)/ “Got a mortgage on a house.” (Line 6) Enjambment: “Moved again. Faust’s face/ was clever, greedy, slightly mad.” (Lines 16-17) Reflects her own life. Repetition: “shacked up, split up,/ made up, hitched up.” (Lines 4-5), and “We worked. We saved./We moved again.” (Lines 10-11) Not usual: many periods, semi-colons, dashes, etc.

12 Allusion Allusion to Faust. “flourished academically,/BA. MA, Ph. D” (Lines 7-8) “and dragged him oddly smirking,/there and then/straight down to Hell.” (Lines ) Allusion to things with power or greatness: “invested in smart bombs,/in harms,” (Lines 65-66) “And Faust would boast (Line 28)/ of doing deals out East.” (Line 31) “Faust was upstairs in his study,/in a meeting./I smelled cigar smoke,/hellish, oddly sexy, not allowed” (Line 40 – 43) “I spent a night being pleasured/by a virtual Helen of Troy.” (Line 93 – 94)

13 Listing Lists material possessions: “Fast cars. A boat with sails./ A second home in Wales.” (Line 12 – 13) “the yacht,/the several houses,/the Lear jet, the helipad,/ the loot, et cet, et cet,” (Line 121 – 124) Lists positions of power “First politics-/Safe seat. MP. Right Hon. KG./ Then banks – offshore, abroad – and business -/Vice-chairman. Chairman. Owner. Lord.” (Lines 49 – 53)

14 Hyperbole Aspects of the characters are revealed through vast exaggerations: “Saw Rome in a day,/ spun gold from hay,” (Lines 75 – 76) “Faust was Cardinal, Pope,/knew more than God;/flew faster than the speed of sound/around the globe,/lunched;/walked on the moon,/golfed, holed in one; lit a fat Havana on the Sun.” (Lines 56 – 63)

15 Discussion Questions Are the actions of either Faust justifiable? If so, or not, then why? How are Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest and Mrs. Faust similar and different?


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