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1. Q.

Ted Hughes conception of Nature


is marked by recognition of violence and
aggression that corresponds with the general
mood of age. Discuss.
1 Ted Hughes was a poet Laureate of Great Britain. He
was in a cusp of time Modern and Postmodern. He was
a traditional poet as well as he moved away from
traditional modes ofexpression. A newspaper headline
in 1984 announced Ted Hughes a Poetic voice of blood
andguts.In his writings Hughes has experimented with
stylistic aspects of modern era like semanticdeviation,
dramatic deviation, and condense imagery. He lived in
the West Yorkshire which isthe area of untamed nature
and area of laborers while Words Worths area is
refined. Teddiscards the refined mannerism and refined
intellectualism. Unlike other poets who have
madepeople to find the ways of escapism and live an
illusionary life through their poetry, he hasconfined the
brutal, cruel and violent nature of his era in his
poetry.His poetry is not easily understood like that of his
popular predecessors who expressednature as a healer,
nurse, and guardian. Hughes poetic version was of
Pantheism; it is a realitythat reveals gods reality. Unlike
Wordsworth, Hughes highlighted the darker aspects of
nature.Wordsworths pantheism was of an ideal state;
his poetry captures the beautiful aspects of naturebut
Hughes celebrates the macabre realities of natural
world.Violence and brutal aggression is certainly one of
the dominant themes in the poetry of TedHughes. He is
fascinated by violence; all kinds of violenceviolence in
love as well as inhatred, violence in the arena, violence
in the jungle, violence in a battle, and violence in
theform of murder and sudden death.
2. The theme of violence and aggression can be located
in the animal poems of Hughes. LikePike, depicts the
brutality, ferocity and the violence which cannot be

separated from the naturalworld. In Pike, it has been told


that pike-fish are killers from the egg (L-3), they vital
instinctof their nature is killing. A pike-fish kills and eat up
one of its own tribe if it cannot get anythingelse to satisfy its
hunger And indeed they spare nobody, (L-22), it really
makes no distinctionin appetite. No poet like Hughes has
incarcerated the murderousness of Nature with such effectin
his poems. M.L. Rosenthal says, Hughess view of Nature is
Nazi, not Words Worthian,Then another poem Bayonet
Charge depicts nastiness and violence in the warfare. Thev
erses like a green hedge that dazzled with rifle fire (L-3, 4)
and bullets smacking the bellyout of the air (L-5) portrays
that wars have a darker side to them. War is something gory.
Ted has highlighted the natural fear of soldier in a war. Later
in the poem a soldier has been visualized as He plunged
past with his bayonet toward the green hedge, (L-19) and
forgettingking, honour, human dignity, etcetera (L-20).
Hughes unlike other poets demonstrates the unusual and
ignored feelings of self preservation of a soldier. Self
preservation has been shownas natural instinct to soldier like
other humans. Wars have always been penned in the sense
of glorification but Ted has portrayed the other side of
picture. In the end of poem soldiers fear reached at such a
climax which leads him to run. In this poem the death has
been depicted as heroic as well as tragic; it arises pity, grief
in the cover of violence, cruelty and aggression.One more
aspect of violence in Teds poems is violence as an
expression of identity. He has illustrated violence as a pure
expression of spirit, violence as an assertion of identity. In
this connection, the closing lines of the poem Pike are
significant. The pond where the narrator in this poem fished
was as deep as England (L-34). This pond assumed pikes
too immense to stir(L-35), and its immense size, arouse
the fear in fishers mind. A darkness released by the
3. darkness of the night seemed to him to be
rising slowly towards him. In these lines, the darkness is
expressed through the rapacious pike. The narrators dream
here is a dream of violence. This is not without a basis
because the England people have always been more

aggressive and war-lik.Hughess use of birds and fish to deal


with issues are as complex as the history and use of power,
authority, and violence. In The Eagle the brutal nature of a
hungry eagle has been portrayed which underlines the
reality of Great Britains war-like nature. England like Eagle
attacked at its prey with cruelty and meanness. In the poem
as His spread fingers measure a heave (L-7) gave
expression of aggressiveness of eagle apparently but
hideously it is the portrayal of Britains behaviour in World
wars. Hughes depiction of macabre and horrid realities in his
poems is the result of Post-War depression and frustration.
Teds subjective view of nature shows the aspect of
alienation in the Post-War World. His use of wild animals
shows his own depressed and disturbed nature as he was
blamed by the people for his wifes death. He uses voracious
animals as his subjects. These poems are to remind humans
that nature is not always our friend no matter how much we
try to help it by cutting pollution. Through the use of animal
imagery Hughes has revealed the malignant nature of
humans