You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Carol Ann Duffy: The World's Wife

2. Thetis

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the second poem in the collection, ‘Thetis’, focusing in particular on: (i) the figure in Thetis in classical myth – in Homer’s Iliad and Ovid’s Metamorphoses; (ii) the idea of transformation in Ovid’s Metamorphoses – i.e. re-telling old myths and turning into something new; (iii) the importance of man’s relation to nature; (iv) the combination of high poetic culture (e.g. the references to Ovid, Coleridge, etc.) with everyday language (“Stuff that”); (v) the imbalance of power and agency between male and female in the poem; (vi) the movement through the four classical elements – water, earth, air, fire; and (vii) the extent to which Thetis’ son, Achilles, casts his shadow over 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 - Thetis [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

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

Get instant access to over 7,300 lectures