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How Writers Achieve Effects - Exam Practice

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The speaker in Medusa is a woman who shows us that she changes her persona from a woman to a mythical creature because of husband betraying her love for him. This poem is a dramatic monologue written from a person point of view of a jealous wife. The character of the poem questions and accuses her husband but the husband has no say in the poem. The poem is separated into irregular stanzas except the last line of the poem, which is emphasised because it isolated. There is sense that the character anger and jealousy starts to build up throughout the poem as an extended metaphor of Medusa's violent killing. The tone of the character in the poem changes in the final stanza as the character of the poem starts to feel isolated and insecure this is probably because she wants her husband to come back to her instead of picking the other women. The character of the poem develops an idea of the progressing transition over time, brilliantly in the language structure of her fourth and fifth stanza's which reads "I glanced at a buzzing bee, a dull grey pebbly fell to the ground. I glanced at a singing bird, a handful of dusty gravel spattered down.' This show the language and theme of the character progressively embracing power is cleverly developed here, by enhancing the strength and intentions of what the persona is doing in the poem. "I glanced" is a lot less intentional and controlled compared to "I looked" which implicates her decision and choice.There are many emotions shown in the poem because the characters problem of her husband cheating on her. This creates an angry and doubtful emotion over her husband 'A suspicion, a doubt, a jealousy grew in my mind' this tells me that her emotions are suspicious over some problem in her mind. Another emotion she has is love and hatred together because 'My bride's breath soured, stank' this shows that her love has been tainted with hatred and jealousy. Furthermore, the character of the poem is feels is insecurity even with the anger in her mind, she idolises her husband. She wants him to return her love and towards the end of the poem she seeks reassurance from him that she's beautiful 'Wasn't I beautiful? Wasn't I fragrant and young?' this shows that she is trying to win her husband back by using her past appearance. The character of the poem also creates a violent emotion 'Fire spewed' this suggests that she has a violent image in her mind another part of the poem 'spattered' this is on onomatopoeia Carol Ann Duffy uses onomatopoeia to emphasise the violent actions in the characters mind.



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