It Has Been Suggested That Duffy’s Diction And Lex Essay

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It has been suggested that Duffy’s diction and lexis are entirely “unpoetic”. How far do you agree with this view? In your answer, you should refer to 2 or 3 poems in detail from ‘The World’s Wife’ Poetry is often judged on its “complexity, aesthetic unity, literary language, subject-matter, and canonical status”[1]; therefore, Duffy’s use of simple lexis and casual diction are often criticized and called “unpoetic”. One might see evidence for this point of view in ‘Mrs Faust’ and ‘Mrs Beast’ where Duffy uses contemporary slang and simple diction. However, Duffy conforms to the more conventional poetic language in her accomplished love poem ‘Anne Hathaway’, which contains complex metaphors and aesthetic beauty. Therefore it would appear that Duffy’s poetry is far richer than the statement suggests. Critics analyze the lexis and diction of each persona, in “The Worlds Wife”, dependant on their delivery and expression. Some critics may label the poems where the character uses more simplistic language as “unpoetic”, for example in ‘Mrs Beast’ and ‘Mrs Faust’, because they would argue that it makes them too accessible. For critics, such as Peter Forbs, believe that poetry should be challenging: “by employing simplistic language and overstated imagery, Duffy is perfect for those no longer accustomed nor inclined to close reading”[2]. However, in ‘Mrs Beast’ the reader should see past the “unpoetic” diction to the more serious and melancholic conclusion: “Let the less loving one be me”. Mrs Beast acts in an unfeminine manner because she is parallel to many women of the past who have been hurt by men: “words for the lost, the captive beautiful”, which she refuses to be. Duffy’s choice of diction and lexis are both based upon her attempt to portray strong women, as well as transforming mythological and historical characters into modern archetypes. Furthermore, her

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