Essay on Close Critical Analysis of 'Mrs Midas'

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Critical Analysis of Mrs Midas
In Mrs Midas, Carol Ann Duffy takes the well-known story of King Midas from Ancient Greek mythology and places it in a modern context from the wife’s perspective. Originally, the story is about King Midas and the power he possesses that turns everything he touches into gold, which leads him to ultimately realise that wealth alone can’t make him happy - even unlimited gold. The moral of the King Midas story is that you can’t buy happiness, and also to be careful what you wish for as greed is sure to overcome you. This is where the present day expression ‘The Midas Touch’ derives from; meaning everything a person does is successful and profitable – as everything in modern society seems to be money
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“Near petrified/now I feared his honeyed embrace” portrays how Midas has subconsciously turned himself into something else – a monster – and as a result his wife is frightened of him and what he could do to her. “Honeyed embrace” sounds comforting – a soothing hug that’ll ensure everything’s alright, but really it means something completely different; it’s this embrace that will turn her into one of his gold pieces - end her life - so now she fears him more than anything. This poem very much seems to depict men as having dominating power over women. When Midas “sat in that chair like a king on a burnished throne” his status is represented as ‘man of the house’, putting him in light of the original King Midas. “Burnished” proposes that it isn’t any old throne but one polished to perfection, again signifying the lust men have towards a materialistic lifestyle. Mrs Midas feels confused therefore helpless, “what in the name of God is going on? He started to laugh.” displays Midas taking advantage of her ignorance, enjoying the new power he possesses. “Laugh” suggests that he’s pleased with himself and doesn’t really care about the consequences of what he’s done. Woman being under the influence of male dominance is shown through Mrs Midas’ obedience and ordinary lifestyle. “He