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Carol Ann Duffy Mrs Beast Essay

984 words - 4 pages

The collection,as a whole,brings into light women who have been kept in the background while there male contemporaries monopolise the limelight. Throughout the poems of Carol Ann Duffy there is an intense focus on the female stereotype: Duffy
provides various voices for different characters, reflects on time, change and loss and embraces all emotions as she contrasts and contradicts the stereotypical concept of the female position.

Carol Ann Duffy's dramatic monologue, 'Mrs Beast' is a complete contrast to the original fairy tale. The authors concentration on Belle’s virtue within her tale produces a clear moral. This is laid bare by Beauty when she says to the Beast “I am well ...view middle of the document...

She emphasises the traditional and widely repeated views of women as naïve and innocent, and contrasts this with the unexpected figures of violent and liberated female characters. Mrs Beast upholds the feminist literary tradition of re-writing text to include missing female perspectives

The poem takes the form of a dramatic monologue which helps reveal a lot about the speaker. As ‘Mrs Beast’s’ true character is exposed the poem becomes a critique, not only of patriarchal oppression of the f emale voice, but also of self -serving feminists who cannot distinguish “between power as domination and control over others and power that is creative and life-affirming”. Mrs Beasts only aim is to dominate the Beast entirely as punishment for centuries of female oppression. This is done through the use of harsh and sexual language.
The sexual language used by Duffy parodies the original ‘children’s’ tale, the short sentences remove any emotion. “Do this. Harder” is one of a list of instructions – there is no sign of any reciprocal pleasure for the Beast.
Duffy subverts the traditional “relationship between sex and power” where the man dominates the women.
She describes the Beast as a “ pig”, ”
and a“mongrel”, this suggests that ‘Mrs Beast’ has taken this idea that power means dominance too far.
The title contains no reference to Beauty, the name of the
original girl in the tale. this is Duffy’s way of disassociating her with
the previous incarnation, who answered to every male demand
from her father or her Prince in the traditional tale.

Within the poem,Duffy lists fictional and mythical female characters,all the women mentioned were loved by men for their beauty and here duffy generalises the need for women to look good to find men.The poem mentions Cleopatra and Juliet who devoted their lives to there lovers.
At first, the speaker asks the reader to “stare into my face … gaze into my eyes” to admire the similarity of her appearance with a list of revered, beautiful women. Yet, she ends the sentence with “think...

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