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Hawk Roosting

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Kate Blackwell In all the poems being studied Hughes likens the behaviour of animals to that of humans; this anthropomorphism serves not only to make these poems enjoyable to read, but help to convey exactly what the author is trying to say. 'Hawk Roosting' portrays the hawk as a powerful, arrogantly confident bird that sees the entire world as being created purely for his convenience. ' The convenience of the high trees! The air's buoyancy and the sun's ray Are of advantage to me' He believes that everything was created just for him; there is nothing or nobody else to consider because the hawk is the only one that matters. He views himself as the ruler of all he purveys; he can go where he wants and do what he wants because he owns it all - 'I kill where I please because it is all mine.' If the hawk had any idea of the notion of a God he would think of himself as the God of his world. ...read more.


The tone of the poem and the words used display the character of the hawk. It is written in a cool, unemotional voice. The hawk seems to be very self possessed and uses elegant vocabulary to get his messages across. Everything that is said is very rational; from the hawk's point of view he cannot be argued with. The sentences are brief, calculated and to the point and emphasize that the hawk is in control. The hawk's voice and tone is so controlled because he feels no emotions and is not ruled by his intellect. 'Inaction, no falsifying dream Between my hooked head and hooked feet' He is ruled by his instincts only; he does not think about his actions and he has no conscience to make him feel guilty about what he does. The hawk sees life as it is; he is not misled by anything. The hawk thinks he is superior to humans and he mocks our way of life - 'There is no sophistry in my body: My manners are tearing off heads' The hawk's way of life is very pure and simple compared to our own. ...read more.


The poem the 'The Jaguar' has a lot of similarities and also some contrasts to 'Hawk Roosting'. 'The Jaguar' is about a bunch of animals in a zoo and the one animal that is different to the rest of them, the jaguar. All of the animals in the zoo are lazy, apathetic, indifferent creatures that have been in the zoo so long that they have lost their wild nature and have become like domesticated pets; the parrots try to attract the visitors' attention for food, the other animals lie in the sun and sleep all day - 'The apes yawn and adore their fleas in the sun. The parrots shriek as if they were on fire, or strut Like cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut. Fatigued with indolence, tiger and lion Lie still as the sun...' The people who visit the zoo do not have much to look at. The animals do not do anything, they just lie around. 'It might be painted on a nursery wall.' The animals had become cuddly and ...read more.

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