Ted Hughes

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The poem, ‘The Jaguar’ written by Ted Hughes, is one of his most famous poems but no his only by far. From 1984 to his death, Hughes wrote poetry constantly. Critics rank him as one of the best poets of his time. ‘The Jaguar’ describes the different lifestyles of animals at a zoo and expresses how they feel about being trapped in their cages. It shows the slow, lazy movements from some of the animals to the fast, rapid movement of the jaguar. In ‘The Jaguar’, Ted Hughes uses techniques such as tone, metaphors, and similes to show the life of the animals that you would normally see at the zoo.

When the poem is describing the laziness of the animals and the energetic jaguar, they are so lazy that they are “fatigued with indolence”. Hughes is saying that since the animals are so bored, they are exhausted by the boredom and outrageous surrounding. Every single day the animals are put on show for other people to come see them, but they just get tired of doing the same routine everyday. Most of the time, when walking the zoo you see the animals sleeping paying no attention to the visitors looking in on them. Before, it then talks about the parrot, in which they “strut like cheap tarts”. Hughes is describing the birds pacing back in forth in order to get the visitors attention most likely for some sort of food. As the guests are looking, they become tired of the animals until they reach the jaguar’s cage, in which they see the fierce behavior in him. Arriving, the guest see the jaguar as if he were a wild beast found in the jungle. Although the jaguar is caged up, he shows the guests he still behaves as though he were in the wild. Keeping the guests attention unlike the other animals, you can clearly see the jaguar’s heart still remains where he calls home.

Ted Hughes studied English, anthropology, and archaeology at Cambridge College. Hughes’ earlier poetic work is particularly in the innocent savagery of animals, one of his biggest interest from early...
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