Mrs Lazarus

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In the poem Mrs Lazarus, Duffy uses onomatopoeia in the words “ripped”, “howled”, “shrieked”, “clawed” and “retched”, this creates a sense of violence because she is grieving for her dead husband. She is depressed, angry and passionate. She is trying to convince herself he isn’t dead but deep down she knows he is dead. I get this from the line “clawed at the burial stones till my hands bled, retched his name over and over again, dead, dead”. In verse two Duffy uses “one empty glove” which is a metaphor; this makes us see her as having been a pair which has been pulled in half. She is now useless. It’s like something or half of her went with him when he died. This image is violent because she is confused and totally devastated which represents a state of mind. She is completely mad and in a deep depression. The line “noosed the double knot of a tie round my bare neck” suggests she is suicidal. In verse three Duffy uses the metaphor of “The last hair on his head floated out from the book “. This makes it seem as though the violence of the grief is lessoning. The line “he was vanishing to the small zero held by the gold of my ring” suggests his memory had shrunk to a zero. She had found someone else. She was coming out of her depression and was no longer grieving. In verse four Duffy uses the metaphor “the shock of a man’s strength under the sleeve of his coat”. This makes Mrs Lazarus feelings for the School Teacher seem violent because she is shocked that she is with another man and she had been faithful to her husband for so long and now he was a distant memory. In verse five Duffy uses the metaphor of “a shawl of fine air” healed, able to watch the edge of the moon occur to the sky. This creates the impression that the violence of the grief has disappeared because she is standing in a field with the air wrapping around her and she felt a sense of being healed. In verse seven Duffy uses synaesthesia in the words “hot tang”. The word hot shows intense or...
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