In Great Expectations, when Pip, the protagonist, and Wemmick, his acquaintance, see Mr. Jaggers, a very strong lawyer, in court, Pip remarks that

Thieves and thieftakers hung in dread rapture on his words, and shrank when a hair of his eyebrows turned in their direction.

Why were the thieves and thieftakers happy when Mr. Jaggers spoke?

1 Answer 1


"dread" - being frightened that something worrying would happen

"rapture" - ecstasy - but can also mean "a state of being carried away by overwhelming emotion"

From my point of view, the thieves were not happy. Instead, they were carried away by the overwhelming fear they felt when Mr. Jaggers had eye contact with them. Mr. Jaggers is known to be indifferent as a lawyer while being highly capable at the same time. As criminals, they are afraid of receiving trials.

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