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Havisham
Havisham
by Carol Ann Duffy

Havisham Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Dramatic MonologueMiss Havisham, Drama Queen"Havisham" is a dramatic monologue, which means that it's spoken by a fictional character – Miss Havisham – who is very much not the poet Carol Ann D...

Speaker

As you probably already know at this point, Miss Havisham is a character from Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations. For more background on her role in the novel, check out "In a Nutshell." Th...

Setting

The setting of "Havisham" isn't specified in the poem itself, but since Miss Havisham rarely (if ever) leaves her house, we're going to go ahead and assume that it takes place there. In the novel,...

Sound Check

Rough Waters AheadBecause of all of its enjambments, this poem sounds incredibly choppy and jerky. (For more on enjambments, check out "Form and Meter.") The poem sounds like it's being forced out...

What's Up With the Title?

Well, the poem is spoken by Miss Havisham and is about Miss Havisham, so the title seems pretty cut-and-dried to us. But when you consider the fact that this character is always referred to as Miss...

Calling Card

Other Points of ViewCarol Ann Duffy loves to provide new points of view on old stories. Her collection The World's Wife features a bunch of dramatic monologues from the point of view of historical...

Tough-o-Meter

(5) Tree LineThis poem assumes that you've read Dickens' novel Great Expectations and that you already know all about Miss Havisham. Other than that, the toughest part of the poem is its syntax, or...

Trivia

Carol Ann Duffy wrote a wedding poem for Prince William and Kate Middleton! Yes, that deserved an exclamation point (Source.)Great Expectations was first published as a serial novel. New installmen...

Steaminess Rating

PG-13While the sex in this poem isn't too explicit, Miss Havisham's erotic fantasies and desires definitely push this into the PG-13 range. A male corpse for a long slow honeymoon? We can all agree...

Allusions

Literary References:Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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