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March Hare

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The March Hare
March-hare

Real Name

Haigha

First Appearance

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

Original Publisher

Macmillan

Created by

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (as "Lewis Carroll")

Origin

The March Hare (called Haigha in Through the Looking-Glass) is a character most famous for appearing in the tea party scene in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

The main character, Alice, hypothesizes,

"The March Hare will be much the most interesting, and perhaps as this is May it won't be raving mad -- at least not so mad as it was in March."

Like the character's friend, the Hatter, the March Hare feels compelled to always behave as though it is tea-time because the Hatter supposedly "murdered the time" whilst singing for the Queen of Hearts.

The March Hare later appears at the trial for the Knave of Hearts, and for a final time as "Haigha" (which is pronounced to rhyme with "mayor", according to Carroll), the personal messenger to the White King.

Public Domain Literary Appearances

Book:

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
  • Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There
  • A New Alice in the Old Wonderland

Film:

  • Alice in Wonderland (1903)
  • Alice in Wonderland (1915)

Notes

  • "Mad as a March hare" is a common British English phrase, both now and in Carroll's time, and appears in John Heywood's collection of proverbs published in 1546. It is reported in The Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner that this proverb is based on popular belief about hares' behavior at the beginning of the long breeding season, which lasts from February to September in Britain. Early in the season, unreceptive females often use their forelegs to repel overenthusiastic males. It used to be incorrectly believed that these bouts were between males fighting for breeding supremacy.

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