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Carol Ann Duffy: The World's Wife

24. Eurydice

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the twenty-fourth poem in the collection, 'Eurydice', focusing in particular on: (i) the figures of Orpheus and Eurydice in Ovid's Metamorphoses; (ii) the retelling of the myth in Offenbach's 1858 opera 'Orpheus in the Underworld'; (iii) the figure of Orpheus as representative of the enchanting power of poetry, cf. the wolf in 'Little Red-Cap'; (iv) the questioning of the assumption that women actually might not want to be reunited with their husbands, cf. 'Lady Lazarus'; and (v) the way that Eurydice tricks Orpheus into looking back at her – flattery.


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 - Eurydice [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

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