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Carol Ann Duffy: The World's Wife

19. Pygmalion’s Bride

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the nineteenth poem in the collection, 'Pygmalion's Bride', focusing in particular on: (i) the character of Pygmalion in Ovid's Metamorphoses; (ii) the adaptation of the myth in George Bernard Shaw's 'Pygmalion' and the 1965 film 'My Fair Lady'; (iii) the theme of metamorphoses in the collection as a whole, e.g. Midas turning everything he touches into gold ('Mrs Midas'), Medusa turning everything she looks at into stone ('Medusa'); (iv) the attitude of the sculptor to his creation ("He brought me pearls and necklaces and rings. / He called them girly things."); and (v) the ending of the poem.


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 - Pygmalion’s Bride [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

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