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
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.
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...
... middle of paper ...
The poet then uses boil to describe the way the snow is falling, a
word that is not generally associated with snow. Instead of saying
that the Deer disappear into the distance he says "The snow took
them", which is a much more interesting way to describe it. It also
creates the idea of every last trace of their encounter vanishing,
even "their nearby hoofprints as well"
The last couplet is short and the use of the snow echoes the
"inspiration" that the poet feels. This ending is an example of
Bathos, the tone lowers and it mirrors the surreal events of the
meeting that are ended very suddenly and rather flatly.
I found that Ted Hughes is very good at using metaphors to relay his
beliefs and views on our society. Roe-Deer was my favourite of the two
poems because it was a more peaceful and beautiful story than the
horrific tale of the Stag.
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