Carol-Ann Duffy is a very influential poet, through the use of dramatic monologues she explores a variety of different themes, she gives voices to historical figures and individuals that are ostracised from society. Duffy uses diverse voices ranging from well-established individuals such as an English teacher, journalist and other professionals to the other extreme of exploring the thoughts of psychopaths and criminals. Duffy is able to articulate with such frequency and depth the minds of often quite disturbed individuals. Carol Ann-Duffy adopts a persona of individuals regardless of age, sex and gender; she conveys very realistic passionate thoughts and feelings of confusion, isolation, loss and despair. .
Duffy's monologues are often constructed in tight structured stanzas in colloquial conversation; the scene set is often of an individual speaking to themselves or to others. The use of language that Duffy uses to create the persona conveys the certain characteristics that the individual possess and creates a mood such as tense or sombre to emphasise the state of mind that the individual is in. Such examples of this is her dramatic monologues stealing, Education for leisure and psychopath.
In the poem stealing, the individual that Duffy chooses to portray is a thief who is very disturbed and confused, the mood that is conveyed is bleak and depressing.
"I wanted him, a mate with a mind as cold as the slice of ice within my own brain" .
"Better of dead than giving in" words such as "cold" "ice" "frozen" "thrill" and "ghost".
All denote a feeling of coldness, thrill and eeriness; it also signifies the coldness, harshness and sadistic workings of the individual. Carol uses her monologues to express moral and social issues; she conveys the isolation and deprivation of individuals such as the one portrayed in stealing. "Better off dead" this identifies with the person's own moral structure, taking what you want to take is acceptable outside the mores of society.