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Essay Question: Discuss both poets of murder, revenge and violence in Salome by Carol Ann Duffy and The Laboratory by Robert Browning. With reference to language, structure and poetic devices.

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Introduction

Essay Question: Discuss both poets' of murder, revenge and violence in 'Salome' by Carol Ann Duffy and 'The Laboratory' by Robert Browning. With reference to language, structure and poetic devices. In this essay, I will be analysing murder, revenge and violence in "Salome" by Carol Ann Duffy and "The Laboratory" by Robert Browning. I will be referring to both the poems, focusing on language, structure and poetic devices. The Biblical version of 'Salome' was set in the Kings Chambers. It took place around AD 30. This version was about Salome who danced for Herod's birthday feast. Her step father Herod was captivated by her lascivious performance so he was willing to offer her whatever she desiderated. John Baptist believed it was unacceptable as Salome's mother formerly had an affair with Herod. Salome was persuaded by her mother to call for the head of John the Baptist Carol Ann Duffy's version of 'Salome' was written before 1914. Duffy updates the biblical version of Salome and is writing from a perspective of a modern day Salome. She presents Salome as a 'modern girl on the town' who frequently goes out drinking and ends up with a one night stand. Also Duffy presents Salome a modern day 'vigilante' and a sexual predator which is a role usually associated with men. Many of Carol Ann Duffy's poems reflect on time, age and loss. It is about a female psychopath who takes advantage of her attractiveness by deceiving men and luring them to her bedroom. Then kills her victims who use her to reclaim her power and reverse the roles of men and women. Moreover, Duffy conveys that Salome feels as if many women are mistreated by men and wants to prove that women have the same abilities as men. The poem explains Salome's attitude, behaviour and feelings or her views on killing men. She draws attention of the mistreatment of women which are abused and tormented by men. ...read more.

Middle

This conveys that Salome treats her victims like a pleasant fishing hobby. It seems as if her cycle is to wait for a fish, then catch it, kisses the fish, and then kills it. The words "colder" suggests that her victims' life has ended as there has been loss of the victim's body heat since his death. "Pewter" is an alloyed metal made primarily from tin. When tin is cold it reaches a very low temperature. Salome's words emphasise that she is a cold hearted person who does not care about other peoples' emotions and feelings. The reader is shocked at the fact that she had kissed the head since the decapitation. There is a sick inevitability and depravity about her; this is immediately evident from the gruesome crime she has committed. The use of rhyme in 'the Laboratory' coveys the writer's attitude to murder. This is seen in the words "mash up thy paste" and "I am not in haste!" The word "paste" is when the potion is being made. Robert Browning uses the words "mash" to suggest the idea of murder by conveying that the speaker wants to destroy her lover's mistress life. It leads to her attitude to murder as her partner has betrayed her; and this is the reason why the speaking is behaving in this way. "Haste!" could suggest that the speaker is in a hurry to kill, "not in haste" shows that she wants her victim to suffer in a slow death. This emphasises that she is cunning as earlier she conveyed herself as innocent and naive and it appeared to the reader that the speaker was blameless. The use of rhyming quickens the pace of the poem, this adds to the woman's increasing excitement as the apothecary is creating the mixture. Carol Ann Duffy creates an image of death and links them to the themes of murder, revenge and violence. ...read more.

Conclusion

This suggests that Salome is only having breakefast to make herself feel better after manipulating the victims. This could also suggest that the murder was very horrific and needs to take a relaxing break. In conclusion, I believe that both the poems are personal in 'Salome' and 'The Laboratory' because they both describe their inner feelings. Salome believes that all men are the same because of her experiences in the past and has a feeling of animosity towards them. Salome is delusional and believes that she lives her own world. (What youthink is how you see the world.) She believes that she is responsible to 'rid the world of the plague' and oust the men. In 'The Laboratory' it is personal as the speaker has a feeling of hate and jealousy. Her attitude shows that she is blameless and presents herself as the victim. 'While they laugh, laugh at me." In 'Salome' I do not think the character Salome will succeed because no matter how many men she kills. There will still be another man who sees women as objects or inferior towards them. (she cannot kill all the men in the world.) Furthermore, commiting murder is a crime; this could lead her to going to jail. Salome killing men, because of their ignorant behaviour will not deter other men from using women and abusing women's feelings mentally. As many will believe that this severe crime may not happen to them as it is not common for women to kill men while the women lure them in their bedroom. I think that in 'The Laboratory' the speaker succeeded when she killed her partner's mistress. She succeeded as her partner will not be able to flaunt his and the mistress relationship in front of her. Also, she will not be depressed or feel betrayed anymore. My opinion of the poems are that they are very interesting as I did not believe that women did not have the courage do such a drastic or demented crime. Moreover, it made me learn how they are psychologically; and the reasons why they kill. ...read more.

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