Ted Hughes Essay, Research Paper
Ted Hughes? early is said to be an observation of the world of creatures, which in turn confronts the behaviour and existence of humankind itself. Write about ?Hawk Roosting,? and ?The Jaguar? with reference to the above.
Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd, west Yorkshire in 1930. His imagery is vividly cruel and violent, and his ability to convey beauty and horror, with his determination to understand the hearts of nature and mankind has received immediate recognition. Ted Hughes utilises much attention to detail, and hard-hitting language.
Ted Hughes uses the poems ?Hawk Roosting? and ?The Jaguar? to make representation of human behaviour, and confronts the existence of humankind as well. The ?Hawk Roosting? poem is a very interesting, and atmospheric description of the world of a Hawk. Ted Hughes displays the Hawk in a violent, and quite egotistical manor. The Hawk is described in such a honourable, and prestigious way but still it has raw aggression, and gruesome descriptions of killing, and power. The Hawk, in the poem, has been given this idea that he is a god and that everything revolves around him, and looks up to him. This idea relates well to the confrontation of the behaviour, and existence of humankind itself with many people in the world having such a view upon many aspects of importance in the world. For example the political world is dominated by money, people with money have similar views as the Hawk, in that they think they have so much power and respect, when really they are just violent hunters, with gruesome tactics. Just like the image of the Hawk, they, and the world are just dictators of life.
?The Jaguar? also displays such a relation with the behaviour, and does confront the existence of humankind itself, but here at a much different angle, and with different aims. Ted Hughes? poem is of a zoo scene; very normal, mostly quite calm and relaxed, but is described with much attention to detail, showing the irregular signs and patterns of the zoo scene. The Animals are portrayed in a very unnatural manner but without pain and cruelty. The Animals have seemed to have adapted to their surroundings and have moved to new methods of survival (all but the jaguar). This change in environment and the animal?s ability to accept and adapt to it, is a method of Ted Hughes? in relating animal to human. Each animal described has a personification, in every form. The Parrots behaviour in their cages is very unnatural and human like, but even the perfectly natural characteristics of the animal are given this personification; ?he Parrot shriek as if they were on fire, or strut Like cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut.?
Here Ted Hughes obviously the heart of nature and mankind.
Ted Hughes uses very interesting language in the poem ?Hawk Roosting;? The poem is written from the point of view of the hawk, a bird of prey, who is roosting in a tree, he sees the air and earth as if they are solely made for his benefit, he sees himself as the ultimate being of Creation, he claims he has power to revolve the world, he has power over life and death, he sees himself as utterly in control of the world and wishes to keep things like this. There is a lot of emphasis on the fact that it is the hawk himself who is speaking. ?I? is the first word of the poem. There is much effect of so many references to himself, the reader becomes overwhelmed by the Hawk?s presence. The hawk uses a lot of pompous-sounding phrases, like ?the convenience of the high trees! The airs buoyancy and the sun?s rays are of advantage to me; and earth?s face upwards for my inspection.? They help emphasise the proud attitude of the hawk. He sounds a bit like a businessman wanting to impress a rival. There is a lot of emphasis on the hawk’s mastery of all he sees. He speaks in a very exaggerated way: I hold Creation in my foot…I revolve it [Creation] all slowly…it is all mine. This stresses the hawk’s feeling that he alone is dominant. I think that the poet does not agree with the hawk. The hawk speaks in very direct statements, as if he is used to being in control. ?I kill where I please… No arguments assert my right…? He is very definite and assured in his ideas. The poem is written in the present tense, as if the hawk is talking to us now. I sit… I kill… It helps make the poem more immediate and powerful: we feel that the hawk is addressing us directly.
The poem when read aloud sounds a bit like a politician’s speech, because it follows the speech patterns of someone who wants to make an impression. There are some longer sentences, which set out his claims for example, ?The air’s buoyancy and the sun’s ray Are of advantage to me,? and some short statements ?The allotment of death…The sun is behind me? which make a strong impact. If you look at the last stanza: it is made up of four single-sentence lines, which state the hawk’s case very strongly and need to be read slowly and seriously. They leave us with an idea of the hawk being a very assertive and strong willed character. The poem has interesting form; the poem is written in six regular stanzas. Perhaps the regularity and order of the stanzas reminds us of the control the hawk claims to have over the world.
There is a very egotistical impression of the Hawk, he is very self-satisfied and proud, he has no qualms about killing, because he is the controller and owner of everything; he has no regard for any life but his own. The poet may be scared that one creature can claim so much power over its fellow creatures; He sounds very authoritative, believing he is like a god. The poet is questioning exactly what the nature of a god creator is, and the poet is making the point that man (who believes himself capable of most of the things the hawk claims to do) is over-reaching himself. Nothing and nobody should control all of Creation like that. The tone Ted Hughes uses for the Hawk is also very overpowering; The Hawk speaks in a masterful, proud and patronising way, as if we were inferior to him, but also in a nasty, menacing way, as a warning that we might be next.
The jaguar uses much different but still equally effective uses of language through out the poem.