Rhyme Scheme: The rhyme scheme of the poem, Macavity: The Mystery Cat” is AABB. It’s a lyric poem.
Eliot uses many literary techniques to make the poem appear humorous to the readers. Instead of using a human as the main character, he uses a cat and attributes human qualities to it. The list of literary devices used in the poem is analyzed below.
Simile: A simile is a figure of speech in which two dissimilar objects are compared and the comparison is made clear by the use of terms like ‘like’, ‘such as’ and so on.
“He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake” is a fine example of simile in the poem.
Personification: Attributing human qualities to some inanimate object is known as personification. “They say he cheats at cards” is an example of personification. Like a human, the poet suggests that Macavity plays cards and cheats at them. The readers know that a cat cannot play cards but it can break any human law and get away with it. The use of anthropomorphism makes the poem seem unrealistic but humorous.
Repetition: The lines ‘Macavity’s not there’ has been repeated a number of times in the poem to emphasize on the fact that the cat is too clever to be caught.
‘Macavity, Macavity there’s no one like Macavity’ is another line which is repeated in the poem to highlight the fact that there is only one criminal mastermind and that is Macavity alone.
1. bafflement- bewilderment
2. levitation- cause or rise up in the air through magical powers or mediation.
3. ginger- noiseless, cunning
5. depravity- wickedness, dishonesty
6. alibi-a claim that one was elsewhere during the act.
7. Napoleon of Crime: the dictating leader of crime
8. Scotland Yard and The Flying Squad: British Detective agencies.
Solved Question and Answers:
1. What is the most remarkable thing about Macavity?
Macavity, known as the Mystery Cat has defied all laws. He even defies the law of gravity. He possesses supernatural powers which allow him to levitate up in the air. He is so suave in his manner that whenever the crime is discovered, Macavity disappears without leaving a single trace.
2. Explain ‘his power of levitation would make a fakir stare..’
The fakirs are ascetics who possess supernatural powers and perform miracles and levitation. Eliot says that Macavity also possesses such powers which can outdo a fakir. The way he rises up in the air and escapes is beyond a fakir’s imagination.
3. Describe Macavity.
Macavity is a tall and thin ginger cat whose eyebrows are deep with lines. He has sunken eyes which gives him a fiend look. His coat is untidy and his whiskers are uncombed. He moves his head from side to side and his body movement is like that of a snake.
4. What kinds of crimes does he commit? Give examples from the poem.
Macavity has his hand in looting pantries, stealing jewel cases and milk bottles. He also has the reputation of smothering smaller breeds of dogs, breaking the greenhouse glass and the trellis. However, his bigger crimes include stealing important documents from the Foreign Office or letting the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings.
Suggested Reading: Summary of Macavity: The Mystery Cat by T.S Eliot in Hindi
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