Ted hughes hawk roosting essay

There are also other stories embedded in the movie, which are harder to recognize.

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For instance, a second love story between Hawk-eye's brother and Cora's sister. The life of Magua is another story that the movie seems to slightly touch, but doesn't elaborate on. As for the historical….

Hawk Roosting by Ted Hughes

The first key scene to consider is act one scene on in which a battle between the Capulets and Montagues occurs. In this scene…. Login Join. Home Page Essay on Hawk Roosting. Essay on Hawk Roosting Submitted By cutiepie Open Document. Amanda Dye Mrs.

HAWK ROOSTING Ted Hughes Essay RESPONSE- 9-1 EDUQAS GCSE ENG LIT NEW SPEC

He attended Cambridge University to further his academic studies into English literature. His writing was very cynical, written in rough, harsh lines emphasizing the scheming and savagery of animal life. The theme of power and control are prevalent in the thoughts of the hawk. Hughes was extremely fascinated with World War One because both his father and his eldest brother served in the war. He grew up surrounded by topics and conversations having to deal with this conflict. His poems reflect the violence of the war.

Ted Hughes and Hawk Roosting

He makes Nazism seem common and natural to the reader Kendall. Hughes personifies the hawk as a dominating power.


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The hawk feels no emotions when he is preying on the creatures below him. He feels as if he does not have to justify his actions of killing the innocent animals that live on the ground. He tries to shock society with the insight about the war and life itself.


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When killing the Jews, most of the Nazis did not think about their violent actions. They had no remorse quite like the hawk in this poem. The hawk has a sense of superiority over the rest of creation. He sees himself as the center of the universe and creates an impression of arrogance. He believes nature is created for his own purposes and to suit his own needs.

I make a direct flight through the bones of the living. I do not entertain any argument. It is my right to subdue and kill, and I assert it when I need.


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As I swoop down for the prey, the sun is behind me. I have been doing the same thing for so long. Nothing has changed since I began. I wish to maintain the same thing. I do not allow any change to happen. I assert my power and control that is natural to me. The poet here is not simply talking about the hawk. Hawk speaks with sure confidence. It is the manifestation of the cruel force of nature.

It is, thus, the symbol of the powerful, ruthless, deadly physical force, unsupported by any kind morality, and devoid of any mercy, humanity or humility. It is also a symbol of the cruel tyrants of the world who know nothing except perfect control and kill. The significance of the poem lies in its relation to the human world. By presenting the self-manifested will of the hawk the poet allows us to condemn the individual tyrants of the world who are ruthless and cruel like the hawk. His close-eyed hawk rests at the top of a tree, meditatively contemplating perfect kills made possible by the perfection of her body, a kind of flying, killing machine devoid of feeling, morals, and rationalization.

Why this accusation? Because critics have claimed that neither Hughes nor anyone else should have the audacity to believe they can understand the thought patterns of a being of another species let alone an individual of the same species. And conversely, Hughes should not have deluded himself that persons can ever stop being who they are to the point that they can successfully imagine another.

Should Hughes have attempted this poem from the view of a hawk, knowing that he would never really get it right? Maybe, if we are to apply this question to such projects as roads and bridges.

"Hawk Roosting" by Ted Hughes - GCSE English - Marked by chesahplinkpectlef.tk

But whether it pertains to the realms of sympathy, empathy, and identification in terms of other individuals might just be another story. To attempt to answer this question about the value of a human being thinking like a hawk or a non-human animal, at least one of several preliminary questions had better be asked: Is the hawk just one instance of nature or a representative of nature?

Or finally, another version of the same question: Does the hawk speak for itself or for all of nature? Actually what I had in mind was that in this hawk, Nature is thinking. But putting aside until later the issue as to whether the hawk is a fascist, it might be argued that Hughes did not carefully weigh his words. But let him be taken at his word—one hawk as a representative of not only all hawks, but of nature. The trouble here is that assuming Hughes is merely arrogant stifles a discussion of a poem which seems to warrant more than quick dismissal or scorn.

Let us not take Hughes at his word. Another question can now be asked: Is the hawk an evil fascist, and therefore, are hawks and predators therefore evil? Hughes has already said his hawk is not a fascist, a word synonymous with dictators like Hitler and Mussolini. The nearest we can come to rational thinking is to stand respectfully, hat in hand before this Creation exceedingly alert for a new word.

There is no other creature in this poem that might judge the hawk. And the poet seems about as absent as he can be from a piece he himself penned. Without any obvious manifestations of judgment, how then are readers to judge? But perhaps this is precisely the point—we are not to stand in judgment of this hawk, or of predators in general. We are, first and foremost, to accept the bird on her own terms, to acknowledge her perfection in eye and feather, beak and claw, her absolute efficiency in distributing her allotment of death, her utter lack of need to rationalize or philosophize her killings.

And not only do the forces and elements of nature enable her, but all of creation has made this hawk the way she is. Such a scenario casts humanity as fallen from a nature that has not fallen from God, a nature on a par with Godliness. In other words, is it presumptuous to believe that one can understand and duplicate the mental state of a hawk, or, for that matter, any animal?

Unfortunately there is no way to assert one. Thus it is difficult to determine if the poem is arrogant. If anything, it might be supposed that the enterprise of thinking like another is fraught with obstacles and risks. While the path of obstacle and risk is sometimes better avoided, sometimes it is better confronted. Rather than a gesture of arrogance—Hughes having the audacity to think he can speak like a hawk—might it not be more prudent to praise Hughes for having accomplished the opposite of arrogance, for having made an attempt to imagine what a hawk feels?

If this seems at all agreeable, then another question will inevitably arise: Did Hughes depict a hawk successfully, or has he fallen into the trap of anthropomorphism, depicting an animal with human attributes? In this way, Hughes has undermined the reductionist connection between violence and evil, a connection probably unnecessary when examining the nature of hawks, and perhaps only slightly necessary when examining the culture of humans.

Sean Robisch teaches composition and literature at Purdue University and holds a Ph. His fiction has appeared in Hopewell Review and Puerto del Sol. Hughes may be a little less cynical, but also a little more romantic and less realistic than Jeffers, because the creatures of his poems are designed to connect us less to what is not human than to what is ancient and human—to the world of myth. He began the project in Boston and finished it while travelling throughout the United States with his wife, writer Sylvia Plath.

Hughes would go on to write a great many poems about birds, even an entire collection called Crow, probably his most celebrated work. We are to suspend disbelief and accept, for the moment, that this is truly the hawk thinking. What the hawk thinks and what the poet tells us it thinks are, in other words, the facts.

enter site For instance, we might anthropomorphize God by imagining a man with a white beard living in the clouds. In this poem, the hawk imagines itself as a kind of god, and we are invited to imagine along with it. If we come across a line that seems too unlike a hawk, we may have to look at the poem from another perspective in order to appreciate it.