Medusa by Carol Ann Duffy

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In the poem Medusa by Carol Ann Duffy, who is the 1st female poet Laurate, destructive power of jealousy is described from Medusa’s point of view. Duffy also explores the physical effects of emotional distress when her suspicion, doubt and fear transform into a filthy snakes. Duffy displays these by using a powerful language, effective tones and different text structures.

Carol Ann Duffy uses language very effectively to enhance the understanding and fluency of the poem. She uses alliterations such as “Greek God” “bride’s breath” to make the poem go fluently and she uses sibilance which is the alliteration with s’s like “soured, stank”. She also uses onomatopoeia “hissed” reason for this is to contact with the audience make the reader feel as they are in the poem. By all of these, she makes the reader think about effects of actions, empathy with the heart broken Medusa and what change people.

Tones make the poem more effective and Duffy shows tones in her poem clearly. The most important tone for the poem Medusa is with no doubt, jealousy. She mentions it in the first line “a suspicion, a doubt, a jealousy”. She uses the word jealousy at last to make the reader think of that word more than the other ones. The reader also understands that she is in a extreme jealousy because she says “ Wasn’t I beautiful, wasn’t I fragrant and young?” She puts herself in a bad position and compares herself with other girls which she call “your girls, your girls” which the reader also understands the female paranoia of Medusa. Overall in the poem there is a melancholic tone taking place.

Lastly when we look at the structure of the poem the most important things is that this poem is in free verse around the woman’s transformation and the escalating scale of the living things she turns to stone. Another structure technique is that she writes the stanzas mostly equal length however the final line it changes because she finalize her feelings in a single line. She uses...
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