PoetryTed Hughes

Man vs Nature in Hawk Roosting by Ted Hughes

3 Mins read

The hawk, which is the primary focus or heart of Ted Hughes’s Hawk Roosting, embodies each traits of man and nature, demonstrating how they intertwine. Thus, there’s a clear theme of man versus nature. In terms of its traits of man, or anthropomorphic features, the hawk symbolizes more of the adverse habits of man, comparable to power and the way an excessive amount of of it ends in a scarcity of reasoning, ignorance and vanity. With respects to its embodiment of nature, that hawk represents nature’s voice and ideas.
The undeniable fact that the poem is narrated from a bird itself is proof of the poet’s use of anthropomorphism and personification, as a hawk is non-human and can’t narrate. The phrase selections of “manners”, “feet” and “arguments” are human elements, which additional attracts the link between the hawk and man. The opening line of the poem itself units the theme, because the hawk seems to be resting and is at a high place, “the top of the wood”. Hughes makes use of phrases similar to “convenience”, “allotment” and “buoyancy”, which symbolize the benefit of savagery and the hawk’s self-centered perspective, which comes with the ability that it personifies.

Read About: Hawk Roosting by Ted Hughes; Major Themes

A transparent connection to humanity could be demonstrated by dictatorship, significantly fascism. Often dictators are “roosting” after they come to their place of final power and superiority, in addition to biting the hands that feed them. In the poem, this abuse of energy is very evident within the third stanza. This demonstrates the separation from God (“Creation”) and nature, in addition to how man (dictators) typically neglect how they received to their place of energy, which is usually due to their folks
“Now I hold Creation in my foot,” reveals that man is now superior to God and anything that introduced it to its place of power, which is an act of betrayal. The hawk even feels superior and incomparable to one thing as highly effective because the sun, which Hughes conveys within the line “the sun is behind me”, which creates an imagery of the hawk blocking or eclipsing the sun. The concept of fascism additionally arises by the repeated imagery of death, as Hughes writes, “through the bones of the living”, “…tearing off heads” and “…in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat”. The vanity and egoism is clear by the poet’s use of punctuated lines that start every stanza. This begins the stanza with a really stark and cold tone. The final line of the poem ends with a really smug and naive comment, because the hawk feels that it’ll endlessly dominate every part else. Again, referring to the connection to humanity, this mindset can also be seen in dictators, who assume they’re invincible and irreplaceable. However, the poet’s matter-of-fact strategy to those violent, intense actions of the hawk makes the reader really feel that they’re acceptable, that they’re the norm in nature.
Throughout the poem, the hawk is described as being in its resting state, and seems to be extra pensive than active. It sits in its “roost” and thinks over its place in nature. According to Hughes, the hawk is meant to represent what “nature is thinking”. The setting of the poem is actually in nature, as evident within the imagery of the sun, the “top of the wood”, “high trees” and “rough bark”. By means of simple, but hefty statements, Hughes demonstrates that the hawk’s habits are natural, and that its actions are primarily based on pure intuition and sophistry. This contrasts with the extra dominant attribute that man possesses: the power to reason. In the fifth stanza, that is additionally elaborated because the hawk justifies his actions with destiny “for the one path of my flight is direct”, that means it’s destined and has a right to kill. From this side, the final line of the poem would make sense, as nature will proceed on this cycle of violence and predation.

Read About: Critical Analysis of “Hawk Roosting” by Ted Hughes


While some argue that he has made violence seem highly acceptable on this poem, Hughes defends himself by stating that this can be a cycle in nature, and maybe that such habit is maybe acceptable in nature slightly than among mankind. By the usage of the hawk, Hughes has symbolized the conflict between man and nature, and that man’s rational nature is what separates it from the extra instinctual, kill-or-be-killed ways of nature, in addition to God, who “created” nature. On the opposite, the poem additionally means that man typically has the potential to be irrational as effectively, tapping into its extra instinctual, impulsive aspect.

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