• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine Duffys use of the dramatic monologue in The Worlds Wife anthology.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Literature Project: Examine Duffy's use of the dramatic monologue in The World's Wife Name: Matthew Joseph Addai Date: 8th November 2010 The dramatic monologue is a poetic technique which allows poets to create and develop a persona, who addresses the reader through the telling of a story through their perspective, portraying their inner thoughts and feelings in the process. This poetic technique is used by many well respected poets, including Carol Ann Duffy, a feminist poet whose "World's Wife" anthology consists of poems in which this technique can be found. The aim of this essay therefore, is to look at how effectively Duffy makes use of the dramatic monologue in this collection, taking the poems "Mrs Midas" and "Frau Freud" as examples. Upon glancing upon the names of these poems and the content within them, one picks up on two things. Firstly, both poems make reference to the names of male figures that are historically famous, with the first making reference to the famous Greek myth of King Midas, whilst the second makes reference to the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Another similarity that can be picked up on between all both poems (through their respective titles), is the fact that Duffy has used the dramatic monologue to create female partners for the male figures mentioned above. Each wife's purpose is to re-tell the individual stories, ideals and situations associated with their husband's from their perspective whilst acting as their personal critics. ...read more.

Middle

Once again though, Duffy manages to preserve Mrs Midas' sense of satirical humor and irony through the lines "the kiss that would turn my lips to a work of art". This suggests that secretly, Mrs Midas would not mind being turned to gold, because at the very least, she would have many admirers. Unfortunately things become too unbearable for Mrs Midas, resulting in the physical separation of the couple. The development of this inability to cope is hinted upon, by the following line "My dream-milk burned in my breasts". The use of the metaphors "dream" and "burned" by Duffy, symbolizes Mrs Midas' passionate desire to have a child and tend to it, however she realize that this desire of bearing a child will be nothing short of a fantasy now. Some critics make the arguement that Duffy also plays a pun on the word "burned" here, with the second meaning referring to her growing bitterness towards her husband for his selfish actions. It can also be said that this is the first time Mrs Midas really gives the reader insight into her deeper thoughts and emotions, whilst at the same time openly displaying her sexuality. Duffy then portrays Mrs Midas as being the one who initiates this separation through the lines "So he had to move out", which presents Mrs Midas as an individual who will not play the role of the stereotypical wife when important decisions need to be made. The emotional ties between Mrs Midas and her husband are eventually cut , despite the formers' attempts to maintain what little remnants are left off their waning relationship. ...read more.

Conclusion

her attitude merely reflects her own opinion and view of men, and the way in which they express their sexuality, her husband not being any different. The last few lines of the poem can be said to be very effective in portraying the ferocity at which Mrs Freud has scathingly attacked the subject of male sexuality, leaving very little room for sympathy. The use of the word penis near the end of the poem, and Mrs Freud's description of it as "average" and "not pretty", can be said to show Mrs Fraud as getting to the heart of the issue, whilst at the same time, this clearly illustrates her as having stripped masculinity and her husband of their somewhat tough layers. The later personification of the penis as having an "envious solitary eye" and the following words "one's feeling of pity", is a twist on Freud's "penis envy" theory, something that according to Mary Greens' York Notes Advanced (2007), a feminist would say Duffy does "cleverly". This theory states that adolescent girls are envious of men due to them having a penis, and the use of the metaphor "envious solitary eye", suggests that it is rather men who are envious of women, and the second quote implies that Mrs Freud herself, pities her husband and all other men who believe otherwise. Bibliography Peter Cash,2002, Carol Ann Duffy: "The ultimate irony is that Midas possessed a magic touch all along: namely, the physical touch which had the power to transform her into a loving wife" , http://www.le.ac.uk/engassoc/publications/bookmarks/58.pdf Mary Green, 2007, York Notes Advanced ,http://www.yorknotes. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Carol Ann Duffy essays

  1. Discuss Duffy's themes and techniques in "The Captain of the 1964 Top of the ...

    The poem is about men who had to go off to war they were hired and paid, then had to leave there homes in the mountains and go down to the flat grounds of the land below. The speaker of the poem isn't involved in what is going on as it is written in the third person.

  2. My analysis of Duffy's 'Rapture'

    Carol Ann Duffy uses alliteration when describing their kiss. She describes it as 'chiselled, chilling marble'. The phrase suggests denial as it would be impossible for marble to kiss, as marble is cold, it suggests it's unfriendly, artificial and harsh; it can also be linked to the topic of art through marble sculptures.

  1. Explore Duffy's Feminist View in The Worlds Wife

    The poem refers to numerous gay icons, 'Lulu, Dusty and Yoko'. 'The Kray Sisters' also show their dislike of some of the other women in the firm, who are 'well out of order', get 'engaged' or become 'some plonkers wife'.

  2. Carol Ann Duffy's The World's Wife

    'I shrank myself to the size of a bird in the hand of a man. Sweet, sweet was the small song that I sang, till I felt the squeeze of his fist'.

  1. "In Mrs. Tilscher's Class" by Carol Ann Duffy deals with one central theme. ...

    The fear fades away in the classroom, and along with this so does the little hint of adulthood. She postpones her transition into adulthood for the meantime, as the poet shows us by using a child-like image after the allusion: "Brady and Hindley faded, like the faint uneasy smudge of a mistake."

  2. Duffy Published 'Mrs Midas' Several Years Before Its Inclusion in The Worlds Wife - ...

    'Mrs Midas' has themes of love, loss, greed, vanity, male actions leading to female suffering, motherhood, forced separation and the love-hate relationships. All of these themes are placed within other poems within the collection. The themes of male weakness and female strength are in practically all of the poems within

  1. A Critical Analysis of Carol Ann Duffy's 'In Mrs Tilscher's Class'

    go on and the reality of future prospects draw nearer and nearer. The children are obviously growing up, both physically and mentally. 'The inky tadpoles changed from commas into exclamation marks', time is moving on. The children become more and more sexually inquisitive and the children become more and more fed up and tense.

  2. Language constructs meaning. Analyse how true this is of Duffy's poems "Foreign" and ...

    What they got was money, dull, crude coins clenched in the teeth; strange food, the wrong taste, stones in the belly; and the wrong sounds, the wrong smells, the wrong light, every breath ? wrong. They had an ache here, Doctor, they pined, wept, grown men. It was killing them.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work