Anisa Khatoon 6C1
How does Duffy present her ideas in ‘The Long Queen?’
The Long Queen is one of many poems from ‘feminine gospels’ written by Carol Ann Duffy. It portrays feminism and feminist beliefs giving female empowerment and a sense of female identity.
The long queen is the first poem in the collection, which is quite significant because it can be considered as the most important poem due to it being the first one of the collection but also because the title itself. The queen is the most powerful female around and so by having this as the first poem gives credit to the queen as she was one of the most successful monarchs of time.
The first line immediately catches the ...view middle of the document...
Not everyone will like you for what you do but you have to prevent them from hindering you as a person and for her as an icon for many. It then carries on to give a list of males e.g. the duke, the lord, the foreign prince, showing that she was the only female surrounded by all these males yet still maintained her role to a high standard. This one female had to represent all females in a male dominated world which can’t be easy to handle yet she made it look fairly easy. It continues to say that even though she was surrounded by males she managed to take ‘Time’ for a husband, time being capitalised. We use a capital at the start of a sentence and so this could personify the start of something new.
In the second stanza, it asks what she was the queen of and it continues to give a list including matrons, wives, girls, showing that no matter what social class, she still treated them all the same. Her law was in the ‘wild kicks of their dancing’ showing that the queen became a part of who people were. It could suggest that she made women feel happy and free. The stanza ends with ‘no girl born who wasn’t the long queen’s always child’. This shows that she is in control of people which links in with what I said earlier about God because she was seen as an image of God and as a mother to all. She didn’t have any children in real life, however the nation was her child and each new child born became one of her own.
The third stanza can come across quite melancholy as it could symbolize death and in particular her husbands. This can be found when it mentioned the queen ruling regardless of her being ‘in a tower in the dark heart of a wood’. This could be personification because when her husband died she only ever wore black and never stopped mourning his death. This could also show her courage and determination because even though she was going through a hard time she still continued to do her job even if it was locked away. She would still support her country. Lastly, she can be referred to a fairy-tale character Rapunzel. She was a good person but trapped in a tower due to the evil witch. Referring this to the poem, it could show that even though all women are different, some can be good people, some can be bad, and we are all trapped by the conventions of society.
The fourth stanza starts with a rhetorical question ‘what were her laws?’ This could imply that even though women’s lives may be different, their roles in society are still the same. This stanza then ends with no girl growing who wasn’t the ‘apple of the long queen’s eye’. Being an apple to someone’s eye connotes something very precious again showing that motherly side to the queen.
Moving on to structure, these next few stanzas showcase the journey from a girl to a women. Each stanza has a different stage starting with ‘childhood’ and then progressing onto ‘childbirth’. They are all of same length and this regular motion could be a reflection of the life cycle.
Stanza five, tells...