Medusa Poem Essay

526 Words3 Pages
Medusa is told in the first person as a dramatic monologue by a woman who is insecure and worried that her husband is cheating on her. The poem begins: ‘A suspicion, a doubt, a jealousy’ and it is this jealousy which has turned the woman into a gorgon and now everything she looks at turns to stone. This feeling of doubt resonates throughout the poem, exemplified in the line, ‘but I know you’ll go, betray me, stray from home’. Unlike our feelings towards the traditional monstrous character, this poem evokes empathy for the character as she is clearly distressed and suffering. Especially when she reminisces in the final stanza about the time she was young and beautiful, illustrating her complete lack of confidence. Nevertheless, she is still presented as a foul character who threatens the reader, with the line ‘Be terrified’. The poem also ends with the line ‘Look at me now’ which has a double entendre (double meaning). It could be read as a cry of despair or, as a threat – if you did look at Medusa you would die! This leaves the reader feeling conflicting emotions for the character, probably similar to how Medusa herself feels in the poem. Form and Structure The poem is written in free verse and as it progresses, the importance of the living things Medusa turns to stone increases, going from a bee to a dragon and then to her husband himself. The poem is divided into stanzas of mainly equal length, apart from the final line: ‘Look at me now’. This gives the poem a dramatic ending, leaving the reader unsure whether to feel threatened by or feel sorry for Medusa. Language • The poem is packed full of rhyme (including half rhymes, internal rhymes and in stanzas 3, 4, 5 and 6 some end rhyme). This rhyme helps to unify the lines and create a sense of rhythm. The end rhyme produces a sense of finality connected with the death of her victims. • Sibilance is
Open Document