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The Jaguar, By Ted Hughes Essay

932 words - 4 pages

In The Jaguar the first two verses are used to describe the zoo in which the animal resides. He slowly builds up to the Jaguar by describing the docile animals around and creating the atmosphere of almost unsettling stillness. He emphasises this disturbing aspect of the zoo with similes such as 'parrots shriek as if they were on fire' and " strut like cheap tarts". This builds visual imagery in the audience's mind as it emphasizes the lack of movement in the first stanza. The use of enjambment further reinforces the sense of motionlessness of these animals. The tigers and lions, animals that are thought of as fierce and ferocious, as described here as sleeping and fatigued in order to create ...view middle of the document...

Enjambment is again used by Hughes to allow the audience to immediately recognise the domination of the jaguar. "Through the prison darkness after the drills of his eyes" is the first definite picture that is portrayed of the jaguar. At this point the audience is witnessing the jaguar journey of roaming towards freedom and wilderness in his imagination. The connotation associated with the eye as penetrating and probing into one's soul for one's deepest and darkest secrets reveals the inner will and power of the jaguar. The rhythm created in this phrase assists in displaying the jaguar's natural and flowing movement while trapped in a confined space. Hughes is distinguishing the aloofness and superiority of the jaguar as compared with the other animals, because the jaguar has the ability to break through its imprisonment in his imagination. The crowd is able to see 'life' in the jaguar that is lacking in the other animals.The next stanza construes images on the strength and fierceness of the jaguar despite being locked behind the cage. The words 'fire' and 'blood' suggest violence, aggression and rage. Hughes is reiterating that although the jaguar is behind 'bars' he has the power to escape as if no bars were attached because of his defiance against imprisonment. The jaguar's passion and intensity are reflected in this stanza as Hughes captures the imaginative journey of both the crowd and the jaguar. The crowd is in awe of this beast whose zeal and instinct echoes its movement and physical presence.The...

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