• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent is Hardys poetry dominated by relationships?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent is Hardy's poetry dominated by relationships? When looking at this question it is important to define what could be meant by the term "relationships". What the word immediately connotes is an emotional connection between a couple. A lot of Hardy's poetry concerns this type of "relationship" but he is by not so narrow that this is his only subject matter. However the broader definition of just any state of "connectedness" may also be taken into account when coming to a conclusion. Hardy's most positive poem about relationships is "When I Set Out For Lyonesse". It was written after a trip to Cornwall in which he met Emma Gifford who later became his wife. At the start of the poem the landscape is cold and desolate and love feels "a hundred miles away". He does not describe what happened whilst he was there and he creates an aura of mystery around the Arthurian Lyonesse. The importance of Lyonesse is emphasised by its repetition within the poem. The mystery is enhanced when he proclaims that no "prophet" or "wisest wizard" could guess what would "bechance at Lyonesse. He himself seems incredulous that he could find love because the outlook in the first stanza is so decidedly bleak. ...read more.

Middle

It is Hardy's first attempt to come to terms with the death of Emma and is written in the aftermath of her death. Unlike the death in After The Last Breath no sense of "numb relief"; unlike his mother's death Emma's death came relatively unexpected. The emotions are raw and the tone fluctuates between accusatory and remorseful. He asks why she gave "no hint" of her death which has "altered all". He accuses Emma of "indifference" but then goes on to regret their lack of communication before her death. Finally at the end of the poem resigns himself to the fact that "All's past amend". He says that her death has "[undone]" him and he is a "dead man held on end". Though their relationship before death was not particularly cordial her death has affected him deeply. Though relationships are a dominant theme in a lot of Hardy's poetry they are by no means the only theme. One subject which surfaces in nearly all of his poetry is the natural world. The natural world is used as a device to reflect emotions in, what T.S Eliot called, an 'objective correlative'. Hardy uses pathetic fallacy to illustrate the deep emotional connection he feels with nature. It could be argued that, in the broad sense of the word "relationship", these poems are in fact about relationships. ...read more.

Conclusion

The morals of the 19th century trouble Hardy quite deeply. In A Sunday Morning Tragedy he tells the story of a girl who falls pregnant outside wedlock. Her lover refuses to marry her and thus, in fear of the shame that would be cast upon her, she tries to abort her baby with a potion but dies. Hardy criticises the fact that her "plight" is "scorned in Christendie". A similar situation occurs in Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Hardy remarks that her shame is, "Based on nothing more tangible than a sense of condemnation under an arbitrary law of society which had no foundation in Nature." " Hardy advocates the "plight" of women who have to bare the brunt of such shame. In the poem the girl's mother declares, "O women! Scourged the worst are we...." One of the underlying subjects in Hardy's poetry is his agnosticism. In Hap he believes his life is dictated by "casualty" and not by the will of god. Hardy asks for a "vengeful" god; his view of the world is such that, if it were to be the product of any higher power, it is a ruthless one. He believes that random chance, or "hap", dictates his suffering. He explicitly links "pilgrimage" with "pain" through alliteration; he is referencing the sacrificial element of religion. Throughout the rest of the poems it is the lack of religion which remarkable. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Poets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Poets essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Journeying in Hardy's "At Castle Boterel"

    5 star(s)

    as an expression of faith in humanity and the significance of love, for "was there ever/ A time of such quality?" Hardy seems to indicate that love - that "Something that life will not be balked of" - is everlasting "till hope is dead,/ And feeling fled."

  2. In The Going and Your Last Drive Hardy tries to portray the effects loss ...

    The comfort and support of a loving relationship can be easily lost due to negligence. A feeling of wistful, nostalgic regret results from concentrating on the negative aspects of lost relationships. Returning back to the early years of their relationship, Hardy attempts to remember the positives of their marriage in the fourth stanza.

  1. The Glass Jar (Gwen Harwood) Analysis. The Glass Jar, dedicated to Vivian Smith, ...

    Children appear frequently in Gwen Harwood's poems and in each a distinctive facet of being is explored, illustrating her grasp of the complexity of youth. In 'The Glass Jar' she shows her knowledge of the psychology of childhood through the boy's naive faith in the power of his 'glass jar', his dreams and his jealousy of his father.

  2. IMAGE OF EAGLE IN ALLAMA IQBALS POETRY

    In another place, Iqbal says that the eagle is above making nests. This statement, too, is not correct, but it makes good sense in the place where it is made and is in fact defensible. He says: I am secluded from the earth Crumbs or granules are of no worth

  1. Wagan Watsons poetry is often read as a representation of race and racial tensions, ...

    city, but still enjoys its own facilities, such as schools and shopping centres. Watson describes suburbia as a 'bitumen labyrinth,' communicating ideas about suburbia being unsafe and unprotected, especially with the use of the word labyrinth, which can be read as claustrophobic or trapping, in that it is difficult to find an exit to.

  2. Making close references to language, imagery and form, consider the ways Owen presents and ...

    of those who are at war and therefore makes the ending even more powerful in drilling in that it is in fact a lie. I think that the poems, such as these, which use detachment in the way in which they are told are almost more effective than those which

  1. Thomas Hardy- the Walk Analysis

    Furthermore, only in the first stanza does he directly address Emma, but in the next, he is thinking to himself, not even thinking of Emma, but of his environment. This sharp contrast exhibits his loneliness and emptiness that he has to face without Emma, which is present in all the other Emma poems but presented differently.

  2. Fern Hill By Dylan Thomas, summary and commentary.

    began only after the Original Sin, so the child?s world seems timeless, a new world freshly created at each dawn. As in many Renaissance poems (William Shakespeare?s Sonnets 18, 55, 65, and 116, for example), time is the enemy, but for the Renaissance reader, Father Time was Cronos (Saturn), who in Greek myth devoured all of his own children.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work