A Comparative Study between Tennyson's "Demeter and Persephone" and Kizer's "Persephone Pauses"
This paper discusses the adaptation of Demeter and Persephone’s myth by two poets Alfred Tennyson and Carolyn Kizer. The poems are approached from a feminist point of view. The paper is divided into three sections, the first reviews the theoretical parts concerning mythology and feminism, the second presents the application of the feminist theories on Tennyson’s poem, the third sets forth a similar application of the feminist theories on Kizer’s poem. The study aims to provide answers to crucial questions of the differences between the poets’ interpretations, portrayals of Demeter and her daughter Persephone, and the myth’s reinvented themes, as well as their depictions as heroines. The study has arrived to some outcomes; first, Tennyson’s poem describes motherhood in Demeter’s actions, while Kizer’s poem highlights womanhood in Persephone’s individuation. Second, Tennyson’s version contemplates on social problems, whereas Kizer’s version explores woman’s psychological states. Third, both the poets have constructed their poems as dramatic monologue to give the rightful voice to their heroines.
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