Commentary on Medusa by Carol Anne Duffy
Carol Anne Duffy’s poem ‘Medusa’ comes from the anthology ‘The Worlds Wife’ in which Duffy gives a voice to female characters that may have been ignored throughout history. The poems are presented through the point of view of these women and in many cases it is the first time that we, as an audience hear their side of the story, rather than a story that has been told for them. Medusa matches the other poems in this anthology as Duffy presents Medusa as she sees herself but she is still shed in a negative light, which she willing presents to the reader as she is perversely pleased by it. Duffy uses clever diction and sentence structure to add to the representation of the persona as well as punctuation and techniques, most significantly rule of threes, to effectively display the persona and the themes of growing rage, stone, revenge and self absorption. Duffy wastes no time in jumping into Medusa’s perspective as the first line proves. The poem starts on a bitter note with “a suspicion, a doubt, a jealously” which is significant for numerous reasons. Firstly, the diction of jealousy alone is important because it suggests the breeding of ill feelings at the start of the poem which reflects how Medusas life as a monster began in much the same way. Also, the rule of three contains nouns that build on each other are progressive as Medusa graduates from a suspicion to as doubt and then becomes jealous, an idea which is also suggested by the caesura of commas rather than full stops, indicating that the nouns flow together and are linked rather than being separate or distinct. The first line is organized in a way that makes the growth of negative feelings evident which foreshadows the growth of rage and hate expressed later in the text while the progressive rule of three effectively foreshadows the continued use of the same technique throughout the poem. The growth of negativity is supported again in the following lines which...
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