Who is the character of Major Metcalf in the play The Mousetrap? What are some examples from his dialogue and body language that show his characterization? What is his intention in the play, and what are his relationships to each character?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Agatha Christie's classic who-done-it, The Mousetrap, is celebrating its 67th year (eight months shy of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II) of being the longest-running play in the world, with over 27,500 performances to date.

Major Metcalf is first mentioned by Mrs. Boyle, who she's left in charge of the luggage she left outside Monkswell Manor in a blizzard. The first thing we learn about Major Metcalf is that he's extremely accommodating.

As he enters Monkswell Manor in act 1, scene 1, Major Metcalf is described by the playwright in the stage notes as "a middle-aged, square-shouldered man, very military in his manner and bearing."

On his entrance we see that he's amiable, polite, and respectful of women. He removes his hat for Mrs. Boyle, even though she left him in the blizzard with her luggage. He remarks that he hasn't seen this kind of weather "since I was on leave in nineteen-forty," which give us another hint about his military background.

A quick exchange between Giles and Major...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 881 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team