Essay PreviewMore ↓
Seamus Heaney’s “The Redress of Poetry” reveals the idea that “it is the imagination [of poetry] pressing back against the pressure of reality (1).” The two opposing forces of imagination and reality are active in Geoffrey Hill’s “Little Apocalypse.” The poem deals with the personal religious conflict of Friedrich Hoderlin (1770-1843), a German lyric poet. Hill focuses on Hoderlin’s struggle with his strong belief in Greek mythology and then Contemporary Protestant theology. From this reality Hill utilizes Greek and Christian imagery. Hill’s imagination complements Hoderlin’s reality and results in an artistic retelling and vivid depiction of the German poet’ strife.
The first stanza addresses Holderlin’s relationship with Christianity, specifically his mother’s desire for him to be a pastor. His mother was very up front with her wishes and sent him to “monastery schools” at Maulbronn and the theological seminary in the University of Tubingen (Witte 1). In relation to “Apocaplypse” Hill writes that Holderlin is “close enough to survive the sun’s primitive renewing fury (33).” The sun represents Christianity and though its teachings as well as its unyielding methods of indoctrination (“primitive renewing fury”) surround him at school and home, he is “close enough” to his own religious beliefs rooted in Greek mythology (Witte 1). The “scorched vistas” suggest that Holderlin’s perspective on religion had been modified or brought into question from his parochial education. Hill implies that Holderlin considers his classmates as “injured” most likely in a spiritual sense but continue to be brave. Despite the injured, Hill asserts “this man [Holderlin] stands sealed against their injury.” The image of Holderlin standing firm greatly contrasts with that of the injured and the use of “sealed” symbolizes that he held strong to his beliefs.
The second stanza shifts to images of Greek mythology.“Hermetic radiance of great suns kept in” has a double meaning. On one hand, his religious convictions are sealed air tight and on the other Hill imagines him as Hermes the ancient god messenger. As the ancient messenger God Hill insinuates that Holderlin himself was a messenger perhaps with a religious message but confused by two different religions. The last three lines refer to the rediscovery of Holderlin’s work that has established him as “one of the outstanding lyric poets in the German language” and placed him in the ranks of the “Greatest of German poets (Witte 2).
How to Cite this Page
"An Analysis of Geoffrey Hill’s Little Apocalypse." 123HelpMe.com. 19 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Poetic Analysis "Fern Hill" Dylan Thomas's poem "Fern Hill" represents the passage of one mans life from boyhood to adulthood and the realization of his mortality. The speaker in this poem uses expressive language and imagery to depict a tale of growing up. The use of colour adds life and character to people and abstract ideas. He looks up to "Time" (313) as an authority figure who has strict control of his life, and with descriptions of biblical figures we can presume that he is a religious person who believes that God is in control of his destiny.... [tags: Poetry Essays Poem Fern Hill ]
956 words (2.7 pages)
- Sut Jhally, a professor at the university of Massachusetts of whom won the distinguished teacher award, wrote in his essay “ Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse” that : 20th century advertising - the most powerful propaganda in human history - will destroy the world as we know it. The survival of the human race will depend upon our ability to minimize the harmful effects of Advertising. These effects will have lasting impacts on our culture, joy, and future. According to Karl Marx Capitalism depends on the sale of commodities.... [tags: sut jhally, apocalypse]
1091 words (3.1 pages)
- “The Canterbury Tales” Character Analysis Essay Considered to be one of the most interesting and famous writings of literary work, “The Canterbury Tales,” by Geoffrey Chaucer deals with five different social groups. Each social group consists of characters that can be considered ideal and realistic and characters that can be considered the complete opposite of that. Chaucer’s incredible analysis of each character’s personality allows the reader to determine whether a character is convincing or questionable.... [tags: social, group, ideal, characters]
767 words (2.2 pages)
- Over the Hill Pty Ltd Case Analysis The purpose of the following report is to aid Over the Hill Pty Ltd in planning the direction that the company may want to go over the next few years. The report entails a financial analysis and summaries, which will give the executive board an understanding of how well the current managing director is performing, and whether his contract should be renewed. Figures were obtained from comparative balance sheets and profit and loss statements from the relevant years as well as additional information that was forwarded by the board.... [tags: Business Management Strategy Analysis]
1669 words (4.8 pages)
- Operatic Melodrama in Apocalypse Now The political and social unrest of the 1970s provided Hollywood with some of its most influential films, often stemming from unlikely sources; two decades after melodrama's heyday, the genre re-emerged in an original form that continues to affect modern filmmaking. The historical influences of Italian opera and Hollywood family melodramas spawned a type of film that has been described as "historical, operatic, choral or epic" (Greene 388). Filmmakers of the 1970s explored the traditional modes of melodramatic expression in order to address the socially charged times they lived in.... [tags: Apocalypse Now Essays]
2286 words (6.5 pages)
- Geoffrey Chaucer's masterpiece "The Canterbury Tales" depicts characters from every stratum of feudal society and exposes the contradictions of the character's social roles. As a Church representative, the Pardoner, for instance, is to be a scammer of gullible believers. His tale is an ironic narrative that speaks about human morality. The Pardoner's tale is of three men finding fortune to have a better life and defeat death, but end up killing each other. Though the use of irony in "The Pardoner's Tale" satirizes both the corruption of the Catholic Church and individual human greed and materialism as evidenced by the characters in the tale and the Pardoner himself.... [tags: Geoffrey Chaucer]
751 words (2.1 pages)
- Geoffrey of Monmouth's Life of Merlin Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “Life of Merlin” is a text that makes its readers struggle with finding criteria for madness. What does it even mean to be “mad?” Madness seems to define a person only when he or she does something to stray from the normality of any given group of people. Breaking societal norms often leaves people open to criticism and suspicion. In order to be sane and mentally healthy, one has to abide by all explicit and implicit rules of society.... [tags: Geoffrey Monmouth Life Merlin Essays]
1833 words (5.2 pages)
- An Analysis of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer is a collection of stories that are recited by different pilgrims who are on their way to St. Thomas's tomb in Canterbury. On their way they decide to hold a contest that would judge the best tale out of the ones recited by the different characters. The tales help the characters pass the time and entertain themselves. The different characters are from different walks of life and have very different personalities.... [tags: The Canterbury Tales Essays]
1590 words (4.5 pages)
- The Apocalypse of William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man. (William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, p. 7) In 1980, William S. Burroughs delivered a speech at the Planet Earth Conference at the Institute of Ecotechnics in Aix-en-Provence titled ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’.1 In this speech, Burroughs, following religious tradition, says that the four horsemen of the apocalypse are Famine, Plague, War, and Death and moves on to prophesise a more contemporaneous apocalypse.... [tags: Apocalypse Burroughs Essays]
5466 words (15.6 pages)
- Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales The Knight, Squire, Prioress, The Monk and the Friar are defined by their settings in Geoffrey Chaucer’s "Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales. 1. Portnoy says in his article in the Chaucer Review that "The General Prologue is like a mirror reflecting the individuals appearance which then defines the character of that person."(281) 2. Scanlon backs up Portnoy in his article from Speculum by saying "…Characters descriptions somehow emerge inevitably from the original intentions of Chaucer’s text or reflect its lasting value." (128) 3.... [tags: Chaucer Geoffrey Canterbury Tales Essays]
1275 words (3.6 pages)
Heaney, Seamus. The Redress of Poetry. New York: The Noonday Press, 1995.
Hill, Geoffrey. New and Collected Poetry 1952-1992. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994.
Witte, William. “Holderlin, (Johann Christian)Friedrich.”
http://www.britannica.com 6 June 2001.