A Critic Once Said That “Maud” Had “One Vowel Too Many” - and It Didn’t Matter Which! Explore This View, Explaining Your Answer as Fully as You Can.

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“Maud: A monodrama” is a complex exploration of love, death and society, conveyed through an erratic narrative with a near-schizophrenic speaker who laments the death of his lover, Maud. Received badly by most contemporary critics, the idea of “Maud” being both “mad” and “mud” shall be examined in this essay and the reasons why certain critics may have regarded it in such a way. The speaker’s madness, delusion and cynicism pervade the poem. The neurotic, frantic and exasperated speaker may have led to certain critics regarding the poem as “Mad”. In the first stanza, the environment in which the speaker’s father committed suicide is personified as having “lips” that are “dabbled with blood-red heath” and “red-ribb’d ledges”. This violent imagery implies that the speaker is delusional, imagining the landscape as brutal and guilty, culpable for his father’s death. The reference to Greek mythology reinforces the idea of his madness as he imagines “Echo” who replies yet always answers “death”, underlining the stark indifference of nature and its unforgiving constancy. The speaker emphasises the murderous quality of the environment further, describing his father as having been “mangled, and flatten’d, and “crush’d”. The plosives exaggerate his father’s death, making it seem harrowingly painful and harsh. Sporadic interjections such as “O Father!” and “villainy somewhere!” are contrasted with rhetorical questions such as “who knows?” which further indicate his mental instability, as he oscillates between crazed excitement and curiosity. The speaker reminds himself that he is “long dead, Long dead!”, the repetition accentuating his aberrant and distorted thought processes which must repeat themselves twice over. Further indication of the speaker’s madness is shown when he is waiting for Maud in the garden. The flowers are personified, with the rose crying out that “She is

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