How Does the Poet Create the Reader's Reaction to Medusa's Character in the Poem 'Medusa' by Carol Ann Duffy?

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Carol Ann Duffy describes Medusa as a bitter woman, who has been betrayed by the man she loved. The poet creates the reader’s reaction to medusa’s character through a direst address to the reader. Rhetorical questions like ‘Are you terrified?’ and ‘Wasn’t I beautiful?’ bring the reader unto immediate contact with Medusa. Furthermore commands like ‘Be terrified’ and ‘Look at me now’ are used to build fear and allow the reader o experience her rage. This is just one method used to create the reader’s reaction to Medusa. Other methods are the use of sibilance and personification. The reader is given a real sense of the snakes on Medusa’s head. The poet describes the snakes to be ‘filthy’, which is very unfeminine and later goes on to say they ‘hissed and spat!’ The personification brings the snaked to life and is actually quite terrifying. The poet has done this on purpose to set the dark mood for the rest of the poem where Medusa talks about her anger. The disturbing physical appearance of Medusa creates a sense of horror. She is said to be ‘foul mouthed’ and ‘foul tongued’, as well as ‘yellow fanged’. The repetition of ‘foul’ creates an unpleasant image of the women and the word ‘fanged’ makes her seem monstrous. Medusa is described in a very negative manner. On the other hand, the final stanza makes us feel pity for her. Her lover had other ‘girls’ meaning he was unfaithful and the rhetorical question that follows makes Medusa seem desperate. This part of the poem evokes feelings from the reader as she is clearly distressed and suffering. She reminisces about when she was ‘fragrant and young’, illustrating her complete lack of confidence. The poem ends with ‘Look at me now’, which could have two different meanings. It could be a cry of despair or as a threat because in Greek mythology if you looked at Medusa you would turn to stone (and ultimately die). The poet

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