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What atmosphere does Irony creates in Mrs.Sisyphus and Mrs.Midas?

IB English Lit. SL IOP #friggin #IOP #doing at 3am #fml
by

yi yoojung

on 24 May 2013

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Transcript of What atmosphere does Irony creates in Mrs.Sisyphus and Mrs.Midas?

What atmosphere does IRONY creates in 'Mrs.Sisyphus' and 'Mrs.Midas'? Irony? Mrs.S What atmosphere does IRONY creates? Irony in Mrs.Midas Situational irony Mrs.Sisyphus Mrs.Midas #Myth of King Midas Dramatic Structural Situational When intended meaning is completely opposite of the literal meaning. 'sarcasm'

e.g. The Unauthorized Autobiography, Lemony Snicket
" Today was a very cold and bitter day, as cold and bitter as a cup of hot chocolate, if the cup of hot chocolate had vinegar added to it and were placed in a refrigerator for several hours." A situation when the audience knows what is happening, but the character does not.
e.g. Oedipus Rex When a situation occurs that is completely opposite from what is expected. "Irony of events"

e.g. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink ;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink When the entire text is irony;
major technique - having the entire piece narrated by a naive protagonist or unreliable narrator
e.g. Huckleberry Finn Verbal #Myth of Sisyphus In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king of Ephra (a.k.a Corinth) punished for chronic deceitfulness to gods by being compelled to roll boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down and repeat this forever. - The poem is about wife of Sisyphus! Verbal irony in Mrs.Sisyphus Colloquial Language Continuous rhyme of '-rk' sound e.g. "I shriek," "dork"(fool) "lark" "jerk" "old bollocks" "that feckin' stone's" e.g. "jerk" "kirk" "irk" "berk" "dirk" (in first stanza) Difference between Sisyphus and Mrs.Sisyphus's Point of View: Situational Irony their completely opposite view towards the "work". Mrs.Sisyphus Mr.Sisyphus - work = obstacle that intrudes their relationship
- her husband's endeavours towards the work = blatant stupidity
e.g. "Folk flock from miles around just to gawk" (11th line) - work = valuable, proud and important
"Think of the perks" (6th line) Difference between
what appears to be Mrs.Sisyphus's feeling
vs.
her real feeling Mrs.S uses verbal irony (i.e.sarcasm)
=> criticise Mr.S's work & express her discontent/annoyance towards the work HOWEVER,
last stanza -> signifies Mrs.S's real feeling
e.g. 'feeling like Noah's wife did', 'Like Frau Johann Sebastian Bach' - One day, King Midas found a strange satyr and took him in as a guest.
- God Dionysus granted Midas a wish as a reward of hospitality.
- Midas asked for 'Golden touch'
- Joyous. However, as all food and his daughter turned into gold;
- Midas begged to Dionysus to reverse the wish. Dionysus took pity on him and granted his request.
- he abandoned his wealth and went to live in the wild Having power of 'Golden touch' seems wonderful and enchanting -> BUT turns out to be TRAGIC. - Starts with remembrance of 'good old days' (first stanza) It was late September. I'd just poured a glass of wine, begun
to unwind, while the vegetables cooked. The kitchen
filled with the smell of itself, relaxed, its steamy breath
gently blanching the windows. So I opened one,
then with my fingers wiped the other's glass like a brow.
He was standing under the pear tree snapping a twig.

-> calm and peaceful actions of daily life. - develops into story after Midas got the power
; Imagery of gold - glamorous and alluring - As the poem reaches the end, turns out to be tragic/miserable ending even though King Midas's wish is granted.
; Imagery of gold changes - seductive and negative qualities of gold Verbal Irony Light bulb/fairy lights (second stanza) =>positive/enchanting
Field of the Cloth of Gold (third stanza, third line): Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France => wealth and ostentation
compare to mindset of Miss Macready: housekeeper in The lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C.S.Lewis -> values possessions above people
Alliteration of vocabularies that starts with 'g' (as gold does) -> glass, goblet, golden chalice (fourth stanza, last line) aurum, soft, untarnishable; slakes no thirst. (sixth stanza, third line) => quite different descriptions of gold compared to the former stanzas.
a beautiful lemon mistake. (tenth stanza, third line) => almost oxymoronic; reflects in how gold changes Last two stanza reveals tragic end of story
also Mrs.Midas's resignation + remaining feeling for him.
e.g. What gets me now is not the idiocy or greed but lack of thought for me. Pure selfishness. (First line of last stanza )
e.g. 2. I miss most, even now, his hands, his warm hands on my skin, his touch. (Last line of last stanza) Being satirical - reference to original myth
e.g.What in the name of God is going on?
( last line of third stanza)
- sarcasm: not happy even though wish has come true
e.g. Look, we all have wishes; granted.
(first line of sixth stanza)
-> effective use of semi-colon
- tries to be positive; dark humour - ironic
e.g. I said, you'll be able to give up smoking for good. (last line of sixth stanza) Mrs.M References http://www.sophiesdesk.co.uk/AS%20Lit/World's%20Wife/mrs%20midas.shtml
http://205poetry.pbworks.com/w/page/822057/Mrs%20Sisyphus
http://www.dictionary.com
http://www.emcdownload.co.uk/files/WordWife_EMCdnload_2011Preview.pdf - witty/humourous about tragic situation

- mood: annoyance and discontent about the 'work'

- criticism towards the 'work' and even making fun of it - Some dark humours but generally tragic.
- mood: sad/tragic and also reminiscent Both of poem
: lonely perspective of the narrator is emphasised by using irony Personal opinion:

Use of irony in Mrs.Midas = interesting because...
- not only convey tragic story but also reflects on shallowness and emptiness of desiring wealth in modern society. THANK YOU :D
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