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Hawk Roosting by Ted Hughes: the attempts to interpret the image of the hawk

Ted Hughes is an English poet of the late twentieth century who has created a special poetical world full of symbols, metaphors and myths. The protagonists of his poems are the fox, the hawk, the owl, the crow and other animals that speak, think and feel like humans. Hawk Roosting is one of the most vivid examples of Hughes’s original style.

Hawk Roosting in the first person narrative where the reader sees the hawk that is sharing his views on the surrounding world. A hawk is a bird of prey which hunts smaller animals and therefore, thinks of his special superiority over other creatures. The hawk is watching the surroundings from the top of the tree and is sure that only he is able to master the world. Moreover, he is strongly confident in his right to kill. The expression “perfect kill” reveals the arrogant nature of the bird. His head and feet are hooked, in other words, ready to attack and kill the prey. The author used the word “feet” instead of “claws” to personify the bird and lead the reader to the message that such raptorial “hawks” happen to be in the human world.

The poem has six stanzas each consisting of four lines. The efficient, strong and strict tone of the narration emphasises the theme of the poem that is arrogance and dominance.

By depicting a self-centered and powerful hawk, the author relates these qualities to a human. Hughes’s hawk is the symbol of power, tyranny and despotism. There is no slightest doubt in the bird’s mind that the world is designed for him and he is authorised to do all that he wants to serve his own needs. At his disposal are the convenience of trees, the sun, and the air which hawk is going to inspect and have the foot on the neck. No doubt that the hawk is an intelligent bird. However, this positive feature has nothing to do with the hideous intentions of his to enslave the others. The second stanza includes the word “Creation” which can be understood as the God’s power. In this way, Ted Hughes interlined the image of a human who plays God and is free to do all he wants.

Despite Ted Hughes’s poetry is at times difficult to interpret, it remains intense and vividly describes animals that possess human traits. Critics have a diverse understanding of Hughes’s ideas in Hawk Roosting. Some think that the author praises the hawk as a really worthy bird while the others are sure that the hawk is a metaphor that depicts Hitler - one of the most odious figures of the last century.

Ted Hughes is an English poet of the late twentieth century who has created a special poetical world full of symbols, metaphors and myths. The protagonists of his poems are the fox, the hawk, the owl, the crow and other animals that speak, think and feel like humans. Hawk Roosting is one of the most vivid examples of Hughes’s original style.

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Assignment ID
100003193
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CREATED ON
13 December 2016
COMPLETED ON
14 December 2016
Price
$33
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