Comparing Jealousy In Medusa And The Laboratory

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In the poems “Medusa” by Duffy and “The Laboratory” by Browning both authors explore the theme of jealousy and its destructive nature on people and society as a whole. In Duffy’s poem “Medusa” she critiques society on its treatment towards women, demonstrating how those without beauty are only corrupted with jealousy and how this behavior has survived through the ages. While Duffy focuses on the impacts of jealousy on the individual Browning looks towards its impacts on society, and its power to twist good people into those who would do anything for personal gain.

Browning portrays the speaker as deceptive and bent on revenge. As the speaker observes the poison being made she “(gazes) thro’ …. faint smokes curling whitely”. The first image
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Duffy does this to show to loss of control and the overwhelming strength of jealousy. Duffy not only portrays the lack of control of the speaker but also how the speaker is corrupted by jealousy as the speaker first “(glances) at a buzzing bee” turning it to stone. The verb glance implies the movement was accidental but this soon changes as the speaker “(looks) at a ginger cat” turning it to stone. This change in intention shows how the speaker’s motives change into wanting to kill and harm others due to the corruption caused by jealousy. There is a repetition of “looked” suggesting that the speaker is hungry for revenge and violence as she continues to look at living things with the intent of killing them though they are innocent, maybe due to the anger,jealousy of being wronged by her lover though she was once innocent too. In both poems the speaker’s love for a person mutates into them wanting that person to suffer due to jealousy. In medusa this is shown when the speaker says “Look at me now” threatening the one who betrayed her along with the audience as medusa has the power to kill with by sight. This can also be seen in “The laboratory” when the speaker says “He is sure to remember her dying face!” The exclamation emphasises the speaker’s excitement for brutality portraying how the speakers time with jealousy has led to her enjoying human …show more content…
They also portray women in as victims of jealousy and critique society and how little it has changed. In medusa Duffy mocks society with the title of her poem “Medusa” a tale which is centuries old, a tale in which a woman suffers due to a man’s actions and once again in today’s society in Duffy’s poem a woman suffers as the victim of society where one’s worth is decided purely on physical beauty. Browning, while sharing views similar to Duff’s on society, puts his message through in a direct and possibly threatening way. Suggesting that these cruel actions present in today’s society could lead to the death, of yours or those who are close to

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