Analysis of ” Macavity: The Mystery Cat” by T. S. Eliot

A quick analysis and summary of the amusing poem "Macavity: The Mystery Cat" by the great writer, T.S. Eliot.

In T.S. Eliot’s poem “Macavity:  The Mystery Cat,” a villainous character is described.  Macavity is a tall and thin individual with a taste for thievery.  His brow is “deeply lined,” possibly a result of his thorough planning of crimes.  He is neglected by society and wears a dusty coat.  Macavity has sunken-in eyes and a highly domed head.  He never combs his whiskers and thus appears mangy.  He spends his time plotting illegal acts and carrying his plans out.  Macavity is said to have broken “every human law,” and constantly evades capture.

For example, Macavity has stolen a treaty from the Foreign Office and some plans and drawings from the Admiralty.  Not only does he break human laws; he also breaks laws of physics, such as gravity, for he is able to levitate.  He is the scourge of every justice agency in the world, including Scotland Yard, and the Flying Squad, who specializes in investigating and stopping armed robberies.  Regardless of how certain the authorities are of Macavity’s guilt, there is never enough evidence to convict him and he is never found even remotely near the scene of the crime.

One of Macavity’s most effective qualities in aiding his crimes is that he is none other than a cat.  Had Macavity been a human being who committed the same flagrant crimes, there would surely be evidence of some form left behind to convict the criminal.  He would then have faced severe punishment for his acts of law-breaking.  However, due to Macavity’s species, the authorities are left clueless.  They are utterly stumped, for even if they did have evidence pointing to the cat, there would be very little that the authorities could do with it.  It would be a very hard challenge to convict a cat of any treasonable crimes.  No one would take the case seriously, and Macavity would get off without trial or conviction.  The author adds comedy to this poem by writing of some of the less horrible crimes that Macavity commits, such as stealing milk and killing dogs.  It is humorous to visualize a cat doing such things, for the species as a whole are known as crafty beings.

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  1. shriya das
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    nice one………it rocks!!!

  2. pinky
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 9:20 am


  3. geetu
    Posted December 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    really good!!!!

  4. Posted December 26, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Sorry, but i think that the description of macavity is not really described propely and i think that you should write in a different tence because some people in schools might of been learning about macavity and the teacher for eg set them homework to write a descriptive piece of writing and if the children didnt know enough about macavity they could copy your piece of writing and get a good grade. So think about that please and read my comment.

  5. Mohammad
    Posted January 3, 2011 at 2:57 am

    That’s the good one…..and it really gonna work to get 20 marks….. ” * * * * * ” five stars…!

  6. mohan
    Posted February 8, 2011 at 9:12 am


  7. Posted June 13, 2011 at 2:23 am

    the analysis should be done sentence by sentence, word by word ,so that it allows people to really understand how the poet has written the poem in such a way in which it could have hidden meanings.

  8. Posted February 13, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Its really brilliant.I liked it. Its super too.

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