Preview
Preview

The Theme of Hopkins' Sonnet, The Windhover Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 3201 words (9.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Theme of Hopkins' Sonnet, The Windhover


"'The Windhover' is one of the most discussed, and it would seem least understood, poems of modern English literature." These opening words of a Hopkins' critic forewarn the reader of Hopkins' "The Windhover" that few critics agree on the meaning of this sonnet. Most critics do concur, however, that Hopkins' central theme is based on the paradoxical Christian principle of profit through sacrifice. Although most critics eventually focus on this pivotal concept, each one approaches the poem from a different analytical perspective. The various critics of Hopkins' "The Windhover" find woven throughout its diverse levels expressions of Hopkins' central theme: all toil and painful things work together for good to those who sacrificially love God.

The research of Alfred Thomas provides an interesting place to begin a study of the major critical approaches to the dominant theme in "The Windhover." Thomas chooses to view the poem's theme through what he feels are its sources, citing as the major source Hopkin's life as a Jesuit. Thomas' articulation of the central paradox of the poem, then, is in the terms of the ascetic life which the Jesuit poet would have experienced: Hopkins, the priest, desires to obtain spiritual glory/gain through sacrificing a secular life for one of religious tasks. Thomas suggests that this priestly life is metaphorically pictured in two distinct manners, one in the octave the other in the sestet. Within the octave, Thomas believes that the chivalric terms suggest the first metaphorical picture-a religious man as a knight of Christ. He adds, further, that both the terminology and the picture itself have their source in the Jesuit handbook Spiritual Exercises. ...


... middle of paper ...


...giving paradox of salvation history. The apostle Paul chose to explain this essential principle through the science of exposition. Hopkins, however, decided to express the hidden heart of the gospel through the art of poetry. Both men were master communicators:

Christ Jesus, who being in the form of Daylight's dauphin, thought it not robbery to be equal with the King-:

But emptied himself of all pride, and took upon himself to buckle to the form of a ploughman.

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto galling, even the gold-vermillion death of the cross.

For this reader, Hopkins has chosen the favorable mode of expression. The poetics of "The Windhover" reverberate with the resonance of the fundamental principle of the gospel: "The Windhover" represents "what oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed."

 


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on the Power Hopkins' Sonnet, God's Grandeur - Essay on the Power Hopkins' Sonnet, God's Grandeur As "the world is charged with the grandeur of God," so Gerard Manley Hopkins' sonnet, "God's Grandeur," is charged with language, imagery, sounds and metric patterns that express that grandeur. Through its powerful use of the elements of poetry, the poem explores the power of God and the wonder of nature. "God's Grandeur" is a lyric poem. The tone of the poem is one, naturally, of grandeur, as well as power and wonder. Hopkins' choices of words add to the feeling of grandeur that is the subject of the poem through their powerful imagery, and they express wonder at the power and grandeur of God and the continuity of nature....   [tags: Sonnet essays] 767 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Depression in Hopkins' Sonnets of Desolation Essay - Depression in Hopkins' Sonnets of Desolation        Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) was, first and foremost, a man of the cloth. He seems to have set his gifts in musical composition, drawing, and poetry at a distant second to his ecclesiastical duties for most of his life, causing him to experience terrible bouts of depression. Hopkins poured out this depression in what are known as the Sonnets of Desolation, including "I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day," "Not, I'll carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee," and "No Worst, there is none....   [tags: Sonnet essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1163 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay The Structure within the Battle of Windhover - The Structure within the Battle of Windhover   The images throughout the "Windhover" recognize the battle Jesus Christ fought while He walked the earth. The battle involved Jesus fighting for humankind’s eternal salvation and the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth. Gerard Manley Hopkins, author of the poem, reinforces this imagery of the battle along with undercutting the imagery to add more confusion and mystery to this already complex poem. Through stressed words at the beginning of the line, highlighting a particular significance with two and even three continuous stresses, to containing seven stresses in one line, Hopkins bluntly emphasizes pivotal words and lines in the po...   [tags: Battle of Windhover Essays] 1337 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Critical Comparison of Shakespeare's "Sonnet 130" and Elizabeth Barrett-Browning's "Sonnet 14" - Petrarchan sonnets are like all the other typical sonnets in the early sixteenth which consist of 14 verses in the poem and 10 syllables per line. In comparison, they all instigate the traditional theme of love where women were admired and sometimes worshipped in order to express deep love that emissaries her beauty. However, Petrarchan sonnet could not said be too congruent to sixteenth style of writing sonnets. Nevertheless, they share identical theme in the sonnets which is the traditional theme of love where Petrarchan sonnets uses clichés in order to describe his mistress as “lucid gold” and her smile as “angelic smile”....   [tags: Sonnet 130, sonnet 14] 1338 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Carrion Comfort by Gerard Manley Hopkins Essay - Carrion Comfort by Gerard Manley Hopkins Gerard Manley Hopkins was a talented poet, and he was also extremely devoted to his faith. He used his poetry as an avenue in which to express his love and praise to his Creator, and many of his poems are beautiful hymns of adoration. “Carrion Comfort,” however, is one of his “terrible sonnets.” Hopkins not only wrote about the beautiful part of faith, but also the questioning and suffering that inevitably comes during a person’s spiritual journey. The Petrarchan or Italian sonnet was one of Hopkins’s favorite forms of poetry and one that he employed frequently in his writing....   [tags: Carrion Comfort Hopkins Essays] 3427 words
(9.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Theme of Unconditional Love in William Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 - The Theme of Unconditional Love in William Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 'Sonnet 130' sounds as if it is mocking all of the other poems of Shakespeare's era. Love poems of this time period made women out to be superficial goddesses. 'Sonnet 130' takes the love poem to a deeper, more intimate level where looks are no longer important and it is inner beauty that matters. Shakespeare paints this picture using a wonderful combination of metaphors and a simile. He starts the poem out with a simile comparing his mistress' eyes to the sun....   [tags: Papers William Shakespeare Sonnet 130 Essays] 588 words
(1.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Poem Structure of God's Grandeur by Hopkins - Poem Structure of "God's Grandeur" by Hopkins "God's Grandeur" is one of the few poems written by Hopkins during his service as a Roman Catholic priest. The poem shows Hopkins' love towards God and his love of sound. "God's Grandeur" is a sonnet that contains three quatrains and a couplet. This sonnet is reminiscent of the Italian sonnet in that it contains one octave and one sestet. In "God's Grandeur", the octet describes the way in which humans are destroying the world by not attending to the greatness that surrounds them....   [tags: Poetry God's Grandeur Hopkins Essays Poet] 787 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
An Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 Essays - An Analysis of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73      Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare is widely read and studied. But what is Shakespeare  trying to say. Though it seems there will not be a simple answer, for a better understanding of Shakespeare's Sonnet 73, this essay offers an explication of the sonnet from The Norton Anthology of English Literature:                 That time of year thou mayst in me behold               When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang               Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,               Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang....   [tags: Sonnet essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1257 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay Love in Shakespeare's Sonnet 138 - The Philosophy of Love in Sonnet 138                     Shakespeare was a superb philosopher, but in his sonnets, he was a philosopher of love.  Shakespeare sets forth the experiences of love and its torments fully within his sonnets.  The philosophy of love is that, love reconciles all.  Love is the evil and the good, the lies and the truth.  Love is all there is. It passion as well as deception and lies. "Sonnet 138", is a notable example of Shakespeare's philosophy of love.  Written as a dramatic monologue, this sonnet (also known as "song") is a lyric.  Like all sonnets, there are fourteen lines, with every four lines written as quatrains in a b a b format.  The last two lines are kn...   [tags: Sonnet essays] 712 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about An Analysis of Sonnet 64 - An Analysis of Sonnet 64 The formal structure of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 64 is largely reinforced by the logical and syntactical structure; each of the three quatrains begins with the same extended conditional "When I have seen" clause and contains the completion of the thought expressed by the clause. However, the first quatrain also contains a second conditional "When" clause (lines 3-4), and the last two lines of the third quatrain introduce the "That" result clause for all the foregoing lines....   [tags: Sonnet 64] 1350 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]