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Character depiction and direct discourse
Eva von Contzen

representatives of another ideology. Power relations and social distance are largely, though not exclusively, dependent on pre-existing social levels and positions that are maintained by convention; a disregard or violation of these conventional rules can lead to tension and even social unrest. The saints frequently, almost regularly, question the conventional hierarchies of society. In their verbal action, they display not only disregard but outright contempt for the non-Christian rulers’ power and orders. The potentially subversive behaviour arises from the context of

in The Scottish Legendary
Anne Woolley

towards the happiness of her man, and Siddal’s figures repeatedly depict strained and exhausted females which can be read as meaning the lived female body under such constraint will suffer physical and emotional distress. There is no dialogue in ‘Speechless’ so the focus is on the female narrator as she hints at subversive behaviour, suicidal thoughts, a sexual history, and a long absent lover received back but not in the expected welcoming way because she’s too exhausted to be so. There are no curses or words of vengeance, in fact her breath is held, making her speech

in The poems of Elizabeth Siddal in context