How Does Carol Ann Duffy and Sheenagh Pugh Present Characters from History/Mythology in a Fresh and Challenging Manner?

Historic and mythological characters are key aspects in both Carol Ann Duffy and Sheenagh Pugh’s poems. Through the use of relevant lexis, structure and, in Duffy’s case, the form of dramatic monologues they can vary the emotions and themes of the poems. They seek to take well known characters and present them in their own way.
Duffy often takes on the theme of feminism in her poems; her purpose in tackling this subject is to give the wives of famous men in history a voice and a strong persona, both physically and mentally. This is portrayed in ‘Queen Kong.’ In this poem she takes the well-known character of King Kong and changes his gender. Using this role reversal she is able to flip the power and give a voice to Queen Kong. In the first stanza the size difference is reflected in the short sentence, “my little man.” In a stereotypical relationship the female is viewed as the weaker sex physically, but in this case she greatly overpowers her partner.   The use of the line “I found him alone in a clearing” emphasises the man’s vulnerability. However, even though she is a large gorilla she is presented with human characteristics through her love, affection and passion. This passion soon turns into possession and being an animal she may be naïve to the fact that she is being so intimidating. She is away from her natural habitat, instead residing in the ‘concrete jungle’ of New York and so is lonely in amongst the humans.
No matter how hard the man tries to get away she continues to pursue him. She confessed and swore to her “huge heart” that she would “follow him then to the ends of the earth.” She admits that her love for him is eternal and although she is controlling, this line proves that her love is true and that she really does care for him.   Duffy chooses certain words and puts them in italics. A key lexical choice is “bliss.” This monosyllabic sentence creates impact on the ecstasy she experiences around the man. They had a very physical relationship which...