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Mrs Midas - Carol Ann Duffy

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Introduction

Mrs Midas - Carol Ann Duffy Carol Ann Duffy's Mrs Midas is a feminist re-working of the legendary Greek Myth 'King Midas'. It is a dramatic monologue from the perspective of Midas' suffering wife 'Mrs Midas'. In previous variations of the King Midas story there is no mention of a wife. Caroline Duffy creates the fictional persona in order to bring to light a female perspective on the flaws within the male species. The poem contains eleven Stanza's. These have no recognisable rhyme scheme but do feature various plays on words i.e. wine/unwind and possibly contain some internal rhyming, depending on how it is read. The first stanza opens and through the tense used, shows that Mrs Midas is recalling events that have passed "It was late September." This stanza is delivered with a relaxed flowing rhythm that enables the reader to envision Mrs Midas - The Housewife - relaxing in domesticated bliss. This is until the snapping of the twig in the final line, brings both the relaxing mood and the stanza to a harsh and abrupt halt. ...read more.

Middle

In the forth stanza she serves up the meal; "...For starters, corn on the cob. Within seconds he was spitting out the teeth of the rich." Duffy is speaking metaphorically when she deems the King as spitting out the teeth of the rich, these are in fact the kernels of corn that have turned to gold and so therefore resemble gold teeth. As the stanza progresses Mrs Midas is distinctively becoming more agitated, her hand shakes as she pours the wine, she is probably still confused and has become nervous or anxious. She continues to watch and witnesses the King picking up his glass to drink. Duffy describes through alliteration the transcendence of the glass changing into the golden chalice "...he picked up the glass, goblet, golden chalice, drank." It all becomes too much for Mrs Midas at this point and she begins to scream. King Midas sinks to his knees seemingly saddened at the realisation of what he has done. "....I made him sit On the other side of the room and keep his hands to himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mrs Midas is angered and saddened by her husbands stupidity and selfish indulgence, he failed to think about the consequences of his actions and had absolutely no regard for his wife or how it would effect his everyday life, consumed by greed and vanity, he didn't think any further then the riches he could create. "What gets me now is not the idiocy or greed but lack of thought for me. Pure selfishness. I sold the contents of the house..." Mrs Midas' may not only be referring to her husband when she mentions pure selfishness but also to her own act of selling up and moving on. She wistfully reminisces about her husband and is reminded of him during distinctive times of the day "I think of him in certain lights, dawn, late afternoon," It is the golden glow of the sun rising and setting at these points in the day that bring him to mind. Ironically Duffy/Mrs Midas ends the poem with the very thing that became the problem in the first place, his touch. "I miss most even now, his warm hands on my skin, his touch" Throughout the poetic story telling, Duffy depicts a continuous stream of rich colours in order to compliment the tale. ...read more.

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