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An Analysis of Carol Ann Duffy's 'Salome'

Raushan Firaq

on 24 March 2013

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Transcript of Salome

Carol Ann Duffy Salome Tone Themes Power

Troubled Relationships

Violence and Death



Feminism Structure Salome Simile/Metaphors "Colder then pewter."
- Simile for death Daughter of Herodias and the stepdaughter of Herod, an influential ruler
John the Baptist condemned Herod and Herodias' marriage
Herod imprisoned John but didn't kill him due to his popularity
Salome was asked by her mother to dance before Herod and then ask for John's head on a platter
Herod agreed - so John died :( Why does Duffy choose her?
Strong, independent
Powerful female figure
Seductive -Casual/indifferent
"woke up with a head on the pillow beside me - whose? - what did it matter?" -Macabre: dealing with/representing death

"good-looking, of course," Enjamblement-the continuation of a phrase, caluse or sentence from one line of verse into the next line without a pause.
Lets her thoughts flit between last night and her current hangover. e.g. Peter? Andrew? John?

Humor is used in the final line of the poem, 'Ain't life a bitch' before it is revealed that she has killed a man.

The structre of the poem is vey conversational, as if she was recalling her tales to a friend.
'I need to clean up my act'
'And there, like I said'

"Duffy avoids a restricting, traditional rhyming pattern, but the use of rhyme here and there throughout creates a unity, like a thread running through. " Notorious
More empowered "like a lamb to the slaughter"
- biblical reference but also literal -Determination: wants to clean up her life I'd done it before
(and doubtless I'll do it again,
sooner or later)
woke up with a head on the pillow beside me -whose? -
what did it matter?
Good- looking, of course, dark hair, rather matted;
the reddish beard several shades lighter;
with very deep lines around the eyes,
from pain, I'd guess, maybe laughter;
and a beautiful crimson mouth that obviously knew
how to flatter...
which I kissed...
Colder than pewter.
Strange. What was his name? Peter?

Simon? Andrew? John? J knew I'd feel better
for tea, dry toast, no butter,
so rang for the maid.
And, indeed, her innocent clatter
of cups and plates,
her clearing of clutter,
her regional patter,
were just what needed -
hungover and wrecked as I was from a night on the batter.

Never again!
I needed to clean up my act,
get fitter,
cut out the booze and the fags and the sex.
Yes. And as for the latter,
it was time to turf out the blighter,
the beater or biter,
who'd come like a lamb to the slaughter
to Salome's bed.

In tile mirror, I saw my eyes glitter.
I flung back the sticky red sheets,
and there, like I said -and ain't life a bitch -
was his head on a platter.
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