Analysis Of The Poem ' The Wife Of King Midas '

2989 Words Sep 28th, 2014 12 Pages
Mrs Midas - Critical Commentary

The poem, “Mrs Midas” is written from the perspective of the wife of King Midas; a character from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”. In the myth, King Midas was granted a wish where everything he touched turned to gold. “Mrs Midas” is part of a tradition of the feminist revisionist writing of mythology and fair-tales. Duffy trivialises the myth by transplanting it to a modern, middle class, suburban setting. In the poem, Duffy uses a wide range of literary devices and conveys a large array of emotions which help to bring out the central themes of the poem.
In stanza one Duffy depicts a conventional, middle class domestic setting; where the speaker, Mrs Midas is cooking vegetables and begins to “unwind” with a “glass of wine”. The quote, “glass of wine” emphasises the middle class, suburban setting and highlights revisionist element of the poem. Duffy writes stanzas one retrospectively, “It was late September”. Duffy uses this quote to set the scene but more importantly to indicate the fact that the event has already happened. This conveys the idea that the poem is being told as a story. In stanza one Duffy personifies the kitchen, with the line, “its steamy breath gently blanching the windows”. The quote emphasises that the kitchen is coming to life. Also the use of the simile, “like a brow” helps to convey the kitchen as a living thing. The word “gently” is used by Duffy to contrast the frenzied events which unfold later on in the poem. Furthermore,…
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