The Death Of Beauty In Louise Bogan's Medusa

1570 Words 7 Pages
Tiffany Wu
Intro to Literature II
Mr. Lally
June 1st, 2015

The Death of Beauty
The frightening stillness as everything goes on without you.

By entwining the tragic myth of Medusa into her work, Louise Bogan creates a sense of loneliness and abandonment that the narrator feels in her poem titled “Medusa.” Through the title of the poem, Medusa, there is the feeling of dread and foreboding. The story of Medusa is very well known as it is about a woman who insulted a goddess and for her punishment the goddess turned Medusa from a very beautiful woman to a hideous looking monster with snakes for her hair and a curse of which whoever looks into her eyes turn to stone. There are many different versions of the story but it all ends with people turning
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The poem moves forward again as the line 3 starts with “Everything moved.” You break out of the surreal moment when the author creates the setting and admiring the area then all of a sudden you break out of your reverie when the poem continues with the words “Everything moved.” The natural order of plants moving and flowing to the wind. The feeling of things being normal with everything moving and no sooner does everything start, there is stillness again as the poem continues with “a bell hung ready to strike.” It is as though the bell is frozen in time by the word choice. The author uses the words “hung” and “strike” out of any other words. She could have said that the bell was frozen in place instead but chooses to say “hung ready to strike.” Previously, the interpretation of the cave was that it was a temple or a church for worship so the bell could be the church bell. Bogan uses the word “hung” which can also mean execution and the word “strike” to represent violence. From the story of Medusa, Medusa angers the Goddess and is punished for the insult she gave to the Goddess. Therefore the bell is waiting expectantly as if it …show more content…
In the next line, it talks about “stiff bald eyes.” Eyes are thought to be the windows to a person’s soul, so by stating that the eyes are stiff and bald can mean that it found the truth from the word “bare” and the person is motionless and dead by the word “stiff.” The stanza ends with “the serpents on the forehead / Formed in the air.” Serpents on the forehead could be referred to as the eyes on the forehead. Eyes on the forehead could be like the third eye or the Eye of Horus where the snakes would come out of the head to bring wisdom and truth seemingly how snakes are companions to oracular Goddesses. The poem says that the snakes “formed in the air” almost as if the snakes just appeared out of thin air which gives off an unsettling feeling. The initial line of the third stanza make it seem like the first two stanzas of the whole poem was history; everything that was told in the first two stanzas are the past and now the narrator is telling the audience or the reader to now look at the present as she says “This is a dead scene forever now.” This stanza can be thought of as the mother of the whole poem. It is almost as if the whole story is from the mother’s perspective and refers to the tragedy of the myth

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