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

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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. This idea is beautiful and natural. The poem then, however quickly turns sour and the gracefulness is lost. The beauty of the run changes into the terror of the chase. The pace of the poem picking up also reflects this.

This poem also uses personification throughout, it is called “his private forest”, and again near the end the stag is described as “weeping”, giving the stag human qualities.

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The people in this poem are seen as being selfish and undignified, which creates a comparison to the Stag who is graceful, and it makes the whole event seem very uncivilised.  

This poem shows the horror of hunting animals, and using personification makes the idea seem even more inhumane. The words used to describe the stag are usually associated with humans. This makes you ask yourself if this animal were human would it be being treated in such a way, and if not, why do we feel we have the right to treat weaker creatures in such an appalling ...

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