Half-Hanged Mary Questions and Answers
by Margaret Atwood

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  • Half-Hanged Mary
    Margaret Atwood wrote "Half-Hanged Mary" about her famous ancestor who was accused, convicted, and hanged for witchcraft—but miraculously survived and lived for another 14 years. The poem captures...

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  • Half-Hanged Mary
    The tone of this poem is certainly one of bitterness. She is bitter because they chose to label her a witch for no reason other than she lived a solitary, shabby life. She was bitter that God...

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  • Half-Hanged Mary
    Margaret Atwood’s poem “Half-Hanged Mary” (1995) is narrated in the voice of Mary Webster, a woman who survived her hanging for witchcraft in the 1680s. Webster was an ancestor of Atwood’s and is...

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  • Half-Hanged Mary
    In Half-Hanged Mary, Mary Webster is being hung for the alleged crime of being a witch. At 6am, she ominously pronounces that 'Most will have only one death/I will have two.' There are two things...

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  • Half-Hanged Mary
    If we look at the "7 pm" section in Margaret Atwood’s poem “Half-Hanged Mary” (1995), we find several few clues about the narrator’s identity. From the poem’s title, we already know the speaker is...

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  • Half-Hanged Mary
    The speaker, Mary, in “Half Hanged Mary,” is questioning God in the 10PM stanza of the poem. She talks to him sarcastically when she mentions that she has some time to kill from her daily chores...

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  • Half-Hanged Mary
    In the poem “Half-Hanged Mary” by Margaret Atwood, the speaker portrays herself as vulnerable in the first two stanzas through her choice of words and the way she describes her situation. The poem...

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  • Half-Hanged Mary
    "Half-Hanged Mary" is a poem written about a historical woman who was hanged for being a witch--but survived against all odds. Mary Webster lived in the early 1600s in a Puritan town in...

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  • Half-Hanged Mary
    This poem is based on the fate of a woman named Mary Webster, who, in the 1600s, was accused of witchcraft and hanged by the neck to die. She was left to hang through the night but was cut down the...

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  • Half-Hanged Mary
    The speaker, Mary, in “Half Hanged Mary,” is questioning God in the 10PM stanza of the poem. She talks to him sarcastically when she mentions that she has some time to kill from her daily chores...

    1 Educator Answer

  • Half-Hanged Mary
    Like a lot of women at that time, Mary has been falsely accused of witchcraft. The slanderous words used against her are incredibly dangerous; they can cause hurt and suffering, and they can lead...

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  • Half-Hanged Mary
    When Mary survives being hanged, she suffers a complete psychological breakdown and a crisis of faith. Before she is falsely accused of witchcraft, she lived her life according to the principles of...

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