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Hawk Roosting by Ted Hughes

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Aruddy555
Words 424
Pages 2
Power is represented through using different techniques in Hawk Roosting and Flag. Both writers use language techniques to show power. In Hawk Roosting, there are many words connected with altitude such as: ‘top’ ‘buoyancy’ ‘flight’ ‘upward’ ‘high’ ‘fly up.’ We usually connect height with increased status / power. The Hawk acts as an overseer, or dictator, holding power over everything below it. The frequency of these words reminds the reader that the hawk is a symbol of power. The word ‘buoyancy’ is particularly obscure but the hawk talks about how it is of ‘advantage’ which reinforces how height equates to power. Flag, suggests that the actual flag it talks about is a symbol of power which, through patriotism, unites and controls a body of people. Each stanza uses repetition to suggest that the flag is powerless. However, ironically, it then goes on to talk about the effect that it has. ‘It’s just a piece of cloth / that dares the coward to relent,’ here coward and relent are examples of emotive language. The effect of this is to reinforce to the reader the emotional control that the flag and what it symbolises. Hawk Roosting also uses repetition. ‘It took the whole of Creation to produce my foot… Now I hold Creation…’ The poet is reinforcing how Creation has formed the hawk and the tone of this section seems to strengthen this argument as the hawk is full of ego and seems proud that he is ‘God’s gift.’ Now he is in control of ‘Creation’ he is effectively playing God. Often the poet seems to suggest that the Hawk is a symbol for another figure, perhaps a political dictator. Flag’s form, with three regular lines in each stanza, suggests the blocks of colour in many country’s flags. Alternatively it could look as if the stanzas are waving in the wind, with the slightly shorter second line. Every stanza starts with a rhetorical question, which provokes the reader to...

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