Pygmalions Bride

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“Although ‘Pygmalion’s Bride’ is humorous, it has an underlying dark message, like other poems in the collection.” With close analysis of ‘Pygmalion’s Bride’ explore how far you agree with this statement. Make references to other poems that we have studied in your answer.

Undoubtedly ‘Pygmalion’s Bride’ is a humorous poem, but the underlying dark message is clear throughout like many of Duffy’s poems. The confusion of the two is portrayed through the reader knowing the story of Pygmalion from mythology. The reader is led to believe that Pygmalion is either creating his statue. Or on a darker scale, he is committing an unlawful act against a woman. With those two different meanings of the poem being the humour to the reader.

The poem is told by ‘Pygmalion’s Bride’ who is either perceived as the statue or the woman depending on the reader’s interpretation. She starts the poem by telling us how ‘Cold, she was, like snow’ and how she ‘thought he would not touch her but he did’ which gives the reader two meanings to the quote, either meaning he could be sculpting her cold clay figure or she could have been cold with fear about Pygmalion touching her and giving him a sinister image to the reader, straight away providing the reader with a dark concept of the poem.

In the next stanza we are informed of how Pygmalion ‘kissed her stone-cool lips’ again she reiterates the cold vibe to the reader giving the poem that negative dark feel to it. We then learn how she ‘lay still as though she had died’ and that ‘he stayed’ which gives off the two meanings once again. As a statue she would have had no physical power or life of which to move with and he would have been observing his work. Whilst the darker meaning is clearly apparent as well. Giving the reader an imposing, creepy impression of Pygmalion. She then tells the reader of how he ‘thumbed her marble eyes’ automatically giving off a dark, dirty vibe. But the humour being that Pygmalion could simply be sculpting...
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