Classics Revisited: Duffy’s "The World’s Wife" and Plato’s Theory of Forms

Ramos Gracia, Samanta. (2020). Classics Revisited: Duffy’s "The World’s Wife" and Plato’s Theory of Forms Master Thesis, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (España). Facultad de Filología

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Título Classics Revisited: Duffy’s "The World’s Wife" and Plato’s Theory of Forms
Autor(es) Ramos Gracia, Samanta
Abstract Carol Ann Duffy‟s The World’s Wife has been thoroughly explored from myriad feminist perspectives. After all, her feminist revisionist poems defy phallogocentrism and the ubiquity of male discourse by endowing fictional female characters with speech and agency. However, this poetic collection has never been explored in relation to Plato‟s theory of Forms. This study brings the mythological poems of The World’s Wife into sharp focus to evidence that Duffy provides a feminist portrayal of what Plato deemed as “immanent universals.” This Master‟s dissertation seeks to analyse four mythological poems from this poetic corpus through the lens of Plato‟s theory of Forms in order to prove that the author not only subverts the myth –which was supposed to be a solid and fixed discourse– but also illustrates the Forms of Disappointment, Beauty, Power and Love from a feminist perspective, thus overthrowing deeply ingrained beliefs about the way we conceive these ideas and emotions. In order to prove how the author illustrates Plato‟s immanent universals differently, I have examined in each poem its poetic language coupled with the relationship between a particular Form and its manifestation into the material world. To begin with, gold will be explored in “Mrs. Midas” to portray a feminine perspective on the Form of Disappointment. Secondly, the Platonic Form of Beauty in “Medusa” and its representation into the sensible particulars of snakes is explored to convey a different perspective of Beauty. Thirdly, the statue as a material representation is studied in “Pygmalion‟s Bride” to portray how Duffy subverts the hegemonic male view of the Form of Power. Finally, Love is the last Platonic Form to be analysed in “Demeter,” which is depicted by natural elements to introduce maternal love as the purest Love of all. By and large, these four polyphonic poems counterattack the father-controlled language discourse by offering an alternative vision of these universal concepts. These paradigms have been traditionally defined according to the hegemonic male gaze and Duffy evidences that these idiosyncratic cornerstones are questioned when analysed from a feminist perspective. Since the dawn of feminism our interpretation of the world has inevitably undergone a metamorphosis and Duffy is an outstanding proof of how our contemporary world questions some „universal truths.‟
Notas adicionales Trabajo de Fin de Máster. Máster Universitario en Estudios Literarios y Culturales Ingleses y su Proyección Social. UNED
Materia(s) Filología
Palabra clave Duffy
Editor(es) Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (España). Facultad de Filología
Director/Tutor Cerezo Moreno, Marta
Fecha 2020-07-06
Formato application/pdf
Identificador bibliuned:master-Filologia-ELyCIyPS-Sramos
Idioma eng
Versión de la publicación acceptedVersion
Nivel de acceso y licencia
Tipo de recurso master Thesis
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Creado: Wed, 19 Aug 2020, 20:41:54 CET