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A Critical Comparison Of Ted Hughes Poems: The Stag And Roe-Deer.

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Introduction

A Critical Comparison Of Ted Hughes Poems: The Stag And Roe-Deer. By Jodie Shane A Critical Comparison Of Ted Hughes Poems: The Stag And Roe-Deer There are six stanzas, which are each seven lines long. This is written in free verse, it has no rhyming scheme and there is no rhythm that I can see. The lines are about ten words long, apart from the last two lines, which are shorter. The title is simple and straightforward. It is significant that the whole of the stanza is about people except for the last line, which is about the stag, keeping a distinction between the two. The poem is set at Exmoor, which is well known for stag hunting. Exmoor is in the countryside and has a low population, so the idea of a traffic jam there is unusual. The presence of so many people is ludicrous. It takes place in November, a month associated with death and misery. The Stag is written in the third person singular, it is through the eyes of an unattached observer. This poem is about a hunt, and the prey is a stag that is running elegantly through the surrounding countryside. There are lots of spectators and one of them; we are led to believe, is describing the events of the pursuit. This poem is proud and refined at the beginning; a stag is running through his fields and over his forests. ...read more.

Middle

Hughes is trying to put across the idea of the inhumane way in which humans invade and destroy the natural world. Roe-Deer, as with The Stag, has a simple title. We believe that it is set on the edge of moorland, we believe this to be the case as Hughes lived in Devon, and that it is based on a personal experience. It is written in first person singular, and is ten couplets long. Ted Hughes also writes roe-Deer. It is about the brief encounter that takes place between a Roe-Deer and Hughes. He uses this incident to relay a deeper message of the crossing of two worlds- Mans and the Natural world. As with The Stag he uses imagery to great effect. It is the beginning of the Day and the poet is driving along a road through moorland. It is dark and grey which makes the atmosphere of the poem very sombre. This mood contrasts with the "deer stood in the road, alerted". Hughes describes the deer as being "blue-dark"; this is possibly due to the first glimpse of the deer being their silhouette on the snow, which can appear to be "blue-dark". The word "alerted" is separated from the rest of the sentence to add to the reader's ability to imagine the scene. This encounter is also rare and so it is also used to signify this. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Snow-lonely field" is a lovely way to describe the desolate way in which the snow is covering the fields like a blanket. The Deer then leave Hughes and return back to there own dimension- the natural world- and Hughes is left to go to his. This is described in such a way so as to make the departure seem peaceful and right, unlike most good byes. We are also reminded of the snow, by the words used to describe the way that the Deer leave; we think of snowmen and reindeer. The poet then uses boil to describe the way the snow is falling, a word that is not generally associated with snow. Instead of saying that the Deer disappear into the distance he says "The snow took them", which is a much more interesting way to describe it. It also creates the idea of every last trace of their encounter vanishing, even "their nearby hoofprints as well" The last couplet is short and the use of the snow echoes the "inspiration" that the poet feels. This ending is an example of Bathos, the tone lowers and it mirrors the surreal events of the meeting that are ended very suddenly and rather flatly. I found that Ted Hughes is very good at using metaphors to relay his beliefs and views on our society. Roe-Deer was my favourite of the two poems because it was a more peaceful and beautiful story than the horrific tale of the Stag. ...read more.

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