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Carol Ann Duffy: The World's Wife

11. Delilah

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the eleventh poem in the collection, ‘Delilah', focusing in particular on: (i) the figure of Delilah, who first appears in the Book of Judges in the Bible; (ii) the sexual drama of the episode and the presentation of sex in particular (cf. the "diabolical" sex of Mrs Aesop); (iii) the nature of masculinity and its presentation in this poem; and (iv) the danger represented by women and the extent to which this is threatening to men and empowering to women.


In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Carol Ann Duffy’s 1999 collection, 'The World's Wife'. After a brief introduction to the collection as a whole, the course continue with a read-through and analysis of each of the thirty poems in the collection, one by one.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2020, April 28). Carol Ann Duffy: The World's Wife - Delilah [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Carol Ann Duffy: The World's Wife – Delilah." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 28 Apr 2020,