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The Hawk Essay

1065 words - 5 pages

Ted Hughes and Robbin Jeffers offer many similarities and differences in their poems about hawks. Although written using contrasting styles, the poems share numerous ideas and themes. These ideas include power against weakness, arrogance, and exultation of hawks as God¡¦s chosen ruler. Yet, Hughes and Jeffers show different attitudes towards hawks, one acting as a dictator of Creation, and the other as a defeated, but still respectable bird.

The issue of power versus weakness is transmitted strongly in both poems. In ¡§Hawk roosting¡¨, the hawk¡¦s image is captured in an authoritative tone, especially by the enhancement of first person view. The hawk¡¦s domination and power is ...view middle of the document...

¡¨ This illustrates how high the hawk is in the food chain and how domineering he is in nature. ¡§At distance no one but death the redeemer will humble that head¡¨ emphasises again that the hawk rules the land, and nothing but death will claim him. In the final lines ¡§but what soared; the fierce rush; the night ¡V herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising¡¨ shows the everlasting power of the hawk. Despite the loss of its body, the weaker forces of nature herald its soul.

Likewise, arrogance is a quality derived from manipulation of power that has been mentioned in both poems. In ¡§Hawk roosting¡¨, the eagle is highly conceited and will not even think of anything capable of being mightier than he is. The line ¡§And the earth¡¦s face upward for my inspection¡¨ reveals his belief that the vast stretches of earth have all been made to serve only him. All the animals are made for him to kill whenever he chooses to and he assumes that his reign is unquestionable. This status is similarly revealed in ¡§Hurt hawks¡¨ where the injured hawk, who knows it¡¦s about to perish, refuses to appear defeated. Instead, it maintains its arrogance that symbolises height above Creation. This is distinctly shown in ¡§asking for death, not like a beggar, still eyes with the old implacable arrogance,¡¨ in which the hawk retains haughtiness until death. It is through these quotes that the idea of arrogance is created in both poems.

Both hawks are also seen as the Chosen one and only one of Creation. Besides the power, they are depicted as rulers who hold complete control over creation and none other can change that position. For instance ¡§It took the whole of creation to produce my foot, my each feather¡¨ suggests that God had chosen to put everything into creating the single hawk. Similarly, the fearful attitudes that humans and other animals show towards the hawk in ¡§Hurt Hawk¡¨ also indicate that the hawk was ¡§chosen¡¨ by God to be the ruling creature. This can be clearly seen in ¡§I¡¦d sooner¡Kkill a man...

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