Recently, we studied a number of Ted Hughes poems in class and I have chosen “The Jaguar”. I will offer a summary of content and then go on to consider how Hughes uses language to create a vivid and perceptive depiction of the animal – Jaguar.
The Ted Hughes’s poem “The Jaguar” is about animals that are captive in the zoo. They can’t move, and every animal is lying in the sun. They are fed up with it, but they can’t do anything because they are tired and lazy. The poet focuses only on the one animal in particular: the Jaguar. In this poem, we can see how certain animals have let their cages to define them and also have grown into almost inanimate whereas the jaguar, the symbol of power and greatness, has not let itself be confined to the realm of his cage. Instead he uses his vision and mind to escape entrapment.
In the first stanza, in first line of the whole poem the poet focuses on the primates:
“The apes yawn and adore their fleas in the sun”
Here we can see words “yawn” and “adore” reflect their lazy activity. They both have the same long vowel sound, which creates the image of laziness and inactivity. Also, the word “adore” suggests how are apes enjoying their laziness and lying in the sun. The phrase “The apes yawn and adore” creates an image of happiness of the apes.
In the line two we see the different reaction of the parrots to captivity:
“The parrots shriek as if they were on fire”
This suggests that parrots are being crazy and try to satisfy with the zoo, because of screaming. Word “shriek” is an example of onomatopoeia. It creates a sound of screaming and Hughes is also using a similar in this line “as they were on fire”. Obviously they are not literally on fire, so these words could have been chosen to help exhibit their anger.
The poet also uses an image of colour and movement to describe the parrots:
“Like cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut”
Hughes offers an image of the angry parrots, and it is a simile. If I would...