'Out of the forest i come': Lyric and dramatic tension in the World's Wife

ROCHE-JACQUES, Shelley (2016). 'Out of the forest i come': Lyric and dramatic tension in the World's Wife. Language and Literature, 25 (4), 363-375.

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Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0963...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947016663585


© SAGE Publications. This article looks at lyric and dramatic modes of poetic expression in Carol Ann Duffy's collection The World's Wife. The book is of particular interest because it is Duffy's only volume devoted entirely to the dramatic monologue. In the opening sections of this article, lyric and dramatic modes are defined and discussed, and the work of Keith Green on deixis and the poetic persona is considered in relation to the dramatic monologue. Of particular use is Green's elaboration on the traditional deictic categories of 'time' and 'place'. Green incorporates the concepts of 'coding time and place' and 'content time and place' into his analysis of lyric poetry. These concepts are used here as tools to consider and describe the communicative contexts established in lyric and dramatic poetry respectively. Ina Beth Sessions' early, taxonomic approach to defining the dramatic monologue, in particular her idea of 'action in the present', is also found to be useful in the identification of the 'dramatic'. The next section of the article is a close analysis of two poems from The World's Wife, 'Little Red Cap' and 'Mrs Sisyphus'. Other poems, and the communicative context evoked by the collection as a whole, are also considered in the light of Green, Sessions and the lyric and dramatic traditions in poetry. The work of Duffy examined here is found to be more clearly rooted in lyrical and narrative than dramatic traditions. It is suggested that the indexicalisation of the symbolic elements of deictic terms is essential to the building of the dramatically realised coding environment necessary for a Browningesque dramatic monologue. A call is made for further work to be carried out in identifying the 'dramatic' in poetry, and for a more meaningful employment of the term dramatic monologue.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lyric; dramatic monologue; deixis; Browningesque; coding time and place; content time and place; indexicalisation; action in the present; English literature; 1900-1999; Duffy, Carol Ann; The World's Wife; poetry; dramatic monologue; lyric poetry; narrative poetry; 2004 Linguistics; 2005 Literary Studies; Languages & Linguistics
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947016663585
Page Range: 363-375
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 14 May 2020 13:51
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 01:35
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/24790

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