How Is Conflict in Relationships Presented in Les Grands Seigneurs and Medusa?

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How is conflict in relationships presented in Les Grands Seigneurs and one other poem from your collection? (Medusa) To start with, both poems explore the conflicts in a love relationship between women and men. They are both written from a women’s perspective and display a conflict over the levels of power in relationships. In Les Grands Seigneurs, we are invited to speculate on the musings of the narrator as she looks back to the past: a time when men were her ‘castellated towers’ and she controlled them. In Medusa, the feelings of ‘a suspicion, a doubt, a jealousy’ present in the narrator’s mind show that she feels ownership of her husband and doesn’t want him to come under someone else’s control. However, Medusa presents a sharp bitterness at the prospect of losing control over the man, whereas Les Grands Seigneurs narrates nostalgically for the first three stanzas about how men used to be in the woman’s control. In Medusa, there is more of a sense of immediacy in the narrator to confront the issue – ‘Are you terrified?’ followed by ‘Be terrified’ (the transition of question to command across these stanzas conveys the sense of a threat against the man’s actions). Meanwhile, the narrator of Les Grands Seigneurs seems happier blocking out her feelings of present resent by fantasising about the past, given the first three stanzas are spent in muse with excessive lists of men’s previous values to her – the anaphora of ‘men were’ channels the list throughout – and it is only in the fourth and final stanza that she confronts the present, though it is no more a confrontation than it is a call of despair at the fact that the power levels have now been reserved and it is she that is powerless now, she is man’s ‘bit of fluff’ like men once were her ‘hurdy-gurdy monkey men’. Therefore, the line of conflict and the bitterness behind it is more bold, and ominously decisive in Medusa. However, Medusa’s narration turns to the same level of powerlessness and feeble...
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