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Beautiful

AS English Literature
by

Matthew Cookson

on 19 October 2016

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Transcript of Beautiful

Cleopatra: Last pharoah of Ancient Egypt
Portrayed as great beauty in modern culture, which she used to influence great men, such as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
After Caesar's death, Cleopatra and Antony's forces lost war for control of empire.
Both committed suicide, Cleopatra through asp bite.
Helen of Troy
Most beautiful woman of the ancient Greek world.
Married Menelaus, the king of Sparta.
Eloped with Paris, prince of Troy, when they fell in love.
'The face that launched a thousand ships': refers to the Greek fleet that went to Troy to get her back.
Trojan war lasted ten years. Ended by Greek ploy of the Trojan horse.
Marilyn Monroe
Model and actress, 1940-60s, one of the first
major film sex symbols.
Had number of relationships and marriages, including to boxer Joe Di Maggio and playwright Arthur Miller.
Fame seen to have destroyed her as an individual.
Died of drug overdose in 1962.
Remains icon of beauty today.
Princess Diana
Married Prince Charles in 1981. 750 million people watched ceremony.
Became global celebrity. Seen as the 'people's princess' but also the focus of press intrusion, which could be argued led to her death.
Divorced Charles in 1996.
Died in car crash in Paris a year later.
By the end of the lesson you should be able to:
Identify some aspects of the history behind Beautiful's characters.
Explain some aspects of how the poem fits into Duffy's ideas of women and beauty.
Evaluate some of the poetic techniques and language choices Duffy uses to present her characters.
Beautiful is a poem that reflects on the lives of four powerful and beautiful women in history: Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana.
Duffy reflects upon their fame and fates. Beauty is seen as a blessing and a curse, that brings power to the women involved but leads to tragedy too.
Task:
Matthew will assign each table a character. You will then discuss and make notes on
how Duffy uses poetic and language techniques to create an identity for that character. We will then discuss your findings as a class.
Beautiful by Carol Ann Duffy
Duffy uses particular poetic techniques and language choices to create an individual character and feeling for each woman.
Full transcript