Masters Of Their Domain Essay, Research Paper
Masters of Their Domain
The similarities between The Eagle, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and Hawk Roosting, by Ted Hughes, are far more prominent than the differences. There is one glaring contradiction between the two poems. The hawk is an accomplished killer whereas the eagle is just perched ready for dinner only to kill when he has to. Both masters of their domain, perched in areas of high surveillance, these two very similar birds are portrayed as opposites by the authors.
The eagle is a laid back, silent leader who is on top of his kingdom. He is defiantly an aged leader in that the poem talks of his crooked hands, also using words like, Ringed, and wrinkled, in describing him. I also noticed, which I believe is the biggest difference, the leadership qualities shown by each bird. The Eagle, is a silent, lead-by-example, kind of leader. He just sits on his high perch, watching and waiting, for the next bit of prey to invade his territory. Even in that, prey is not his big worry, he is just taking in his surroundings beauty. The azure world, wrinkled sea beneath, and mountain walls, are just a few glimpses into his world that the author gives us to picture.
On the other hand, the hawk comes across as more of an outspoken, dictator type leader. He has to kill often to show his power, where the first, as I have stated, shows his power in different ways. In describing the hawk, the author says more of his killing and ways of killing, to describe him. Rehearse perfect kills and eat, and, My manners are tearing off heads, are just a few of the examples used. Another characteristic that jumps out at you about the hawk is the way he describes his surroundings or territory. Now I hold creation in my foot, and I kill where I please because it is all mine, are the two phrases that show to me the most that he believes he is Godlike, almost. He feels as though he is a gift to the earth and that, it took all of Creation to produce my foot, and my feathers; now I hold Creation in my foot.
One of the similarities between the two birds is the fact that both live in high, almost commanding parts of their territory. The eagle for instance says he lives, Close to the sun, and that, He watches from his mountain walls. The hawk now talks of, The convenience of high trees, and, I sit atop of the wood, my eyes closed. So in both instances, we as readers picture high mountaintops with overhanging trees where these birds have made nests and are perching. Another of the similarities is the fact that both birds are predators. Although in The Eagle you don t actually read about killing another animal, you have to wonder what the last verse means. And like a thunderbolt he falls, is what is stated in the last verse. Is he diving just for a breath of fresh air? Or has he spotted a creature from his mountainous view and decided he needed it for dinner? I myself feel he has been observing all day and is ready for dinner. In, Hawk Roosting, you don t have to read the killing into the poem, on the other hand that is really what it is all about.
The last major similarity I saw in the two animals was the fact that both are the rulers of their domain. I have already stated they have contrasting styles of ruling, but I do believe both are the rulers for sure.
Both poems were excellent and I enjoyed reading them. All in all, they were a lot alike, with only one real glaring difference. I thought the first one was better written in that it gave you the room to let your mind wonder and almost write your own ending. The second, though, really closed out all thoughts and endings that you could have imagined. These two different ways of ending the writings each proved to close the work well.