Havisham - Carol Ann Duffy

Revision notes for Havisham

  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 09-05-11 11:26

1st stanza

Havisham character from great expectations (jilted on her wedding day by her fiancee)

Beloved sweetheart bastard. Not a day since then doesn't want to admit it (wedding day)

I haven't wished him dead. Prayed for it

so hard I've dark green pebbles (image suggests hard and cruel) for eyes,

ropes (veins) on the back of my hands I could strangle (violence) with.

alliteration of 'b' and 'p' sound suggests anger

oxymoron - suggests love / hate

green for jealousy 'green eyed monster'

Parts of the body

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2nd stanza

Spinster. (single word sentence - bitterness) I stink (hasn't washed since wedding day) and remember. Whole days

in bed cawing (crow) Nooooo (grief and despair) at the wall; the dress

yellowing, (with age) trembling if I open the wardrobe;

the slewed (broken / destroyed) mirror, full-length, her, myself, who did this 

cannot express her anger and bitterness in proper words


as though it is someone else who has done this. she can't believe that the woman in the mirror would do this. split personality?? disturbed??

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3rd stanza

to me? (enjambment - lines run over) Puce curses that are sounds not words.

Some nights better, the lost body over me,

my fluent tongue in its mouth in its ear (sexual reference to their relationship)

then down till I suddenly bite awake. Love's


cannot express her anger and bitterness in proper words

parts of body


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4th stanza

hate behind a white (wedding dress white for virginity) veil; a red balloon bursting

in my face. Bang. I stabbed at a wedding-cake.

Give me a male corpse for a long slow honeymoon.

Don't think it's only the heart that b-b-b-breaks. (sobbing and suggests violence-a veiled threat) 


alliteration of 'b' sound suggests anger


parts of the body

She would rather have him dead than have him reject her - shows how bitter and twisted she is

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Extra info

  • Monolougue
  • creats a persona


Violence - Stealing, Education for leisure, Hitcher

alliteration, violent / powerful verbs, enjambment, oxymoron, metaphor

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Really useful and good detail

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