Meaning in "The Panther" by Rainier Maria Rilke

Good Essays
Meaning in “The Panther” by Rainier Maria Rilke In the poem “The Panther” Rainier Maria Rilke writes about a caged panther that paces inside its cage. He walks around in circles bored out of his mind. He is weary from his life of being in the same cage all day every day. She uses the panther to create a theme of captivity and entrapment. Rilke describes the panther with his “powerful soft strides” (6) walking in circles, his heart hoping to be free. His pacing is “like a ritual dance around a center in which a mighty will stands paralyzed” (7, 8). This is essential to the poem in that the panther is held captive but he is still a powerful wild animal with all the same drives and wildness as panthers in the wild. His strong instincts are still there, the urge to hunt and be free but yet he is “paralyzed” in the cage and can do nothing about it. For a split second the spirit of life enters in his eyes and the “curtain of the pupils lifts” (9). Something catches his eye and breaks the monotony. Just as quickly as the image enters in and awakens his attention it “plunges into the heart and is gone” (12). Its as if his heart is empty and just a black hole. There’s no life to him. His heart is just an organ and nothing else. Rilke describes emotions of confinement. This could relate to many different situations of people. For example a prisoner that once had freedom is now locked up. It could also relate to someone that’s in a situation they do not like but don’t see a way out. Mothers with children could feel this way because once they were free to do what they pleased and now they are obligated to take care of children. They may miss their old life and sometimes wish they could go back to those days. They are trapped by diapers, snotty noses and always being responsible for someone totally dependant. This could also be true for someone whose parents are now old and need to be taken care of.

Rilke does a good job describing the situation

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    fading Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “The Panther” was written about a panther locked in a cage, quickly losing hope—dwindling away. I cannot help but notice the tone of revoked freedom ringing clear throughout this poem. The poem is divided into three stanzas: a thesis, antithesis, and then a conclusion that mixes both. The first stanza the panther is powerless, the second stanza makes the panther appear to be in control, and the third stanza shows external forces seal the panther’s fate. Rilke uses one…

    • 587 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Panther In this poem the theme is that we are trapped by society. Rilke wrote the poem after he went to the zoo and observed the animals there. The panther reminded him of a prisoner, in the sense that they both have lost all their freedom and are waiting for an escape. The poem is about a panther that is trapped in a cage and is also is tired and weak. He tries desperately to escape, so he paces back and forth as a way of saying he won’t be tamed. Rilke uses symbolism and alliteration to get…

    • 839 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Rainer Maria Rilke

    • 413 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Rainer Maria Rilke "Rose, o pure contradiction, desire to be no one's sleep beneath so many lids." This was Rainer Maria Rilke's self-composed epitaph, written before leukemia took his life on December 29, 1926. The rose was a symbol of love, beauty, and devotion in many of Rilke's writings.With quotes such as this Rilke became known as one of the best poets of the 20th century. Rainer Maria Rilke was born on December 4, 1875 in Prague, which is now the capital of Czechoslovakia…

    • 413 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Letters to a young poet ‘’Letter one’’ by Rainer Maria Rilke and Black Swan Green chapters ‘’ Hangman and Solarium’’ by David Mitchell is about someone telling the young poet and Jason that you can not create beauty in poetry because it is already there. In both stories the poet seeks advice from someone else. They need help creating a poem of their own, for example like nothing about love or anything that you try to make beautiful because beauty just is. In the story Letters to a Young Poet ‘’Letter…

    • 721 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Rilke uses an array of imagery techniques in his poem “The Panther” to help the reader arrive at a sense of theme. Rilke employs personification in the first line of the poem to help evoke an ironic tone upon the reader. For example, in this line Rilke personifies the fact that the panther’s vision “cannot hold anything else” but the bars he sees right in front of him. This adds a paradoxical element to the poem because the personification functions as a means to limit the panther instead of giving…

    • 457 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Rainer Rilke

    • 1349 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Garvin Hunt CES 640-A: RILKE Final Paper June 25, 2012 Rainer Rilke: The Power of a Childhood The story of Rainer Maria Rilke has been told through the pens of many authors. And justifiably so. With a plethora of beautifully expressive poems written by his pen in constant circulation, there will always be room for interpretations and critiques. Throughout his career as a poet there have been considerable differences in his writing styles and, as well there have been a number of themes. Some of…

    • 1349 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Panther Analysis

    • 460 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The Panther by Rainer Maria Rilke The poem The Panther by Rainer Maria Rilke depicts the picture of a panther locked in a cage of a zoo. The cage has iron bars and because of being tired he cannot see anything. To him, it looks as though, there are thousands of bars which are confusing his vision. To him, there is no world behind the cage. When he moves round and round the cage frequently, it looks as though he is performing a ritual dance. The panther inside the cage of the zoo has a powerful desire…

    • 460 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Panthers

    • 3360 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Ashley Lewis Ms. Bostick US History (Period 4) May 31, 2013 Black Panthers One of the biggest contributors to help develop civil rights in the United States was the Black Panther Party. This civil rights movement created by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California of 1966 was considered to be the “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” (US History 13.3). This party was created to specifically focus on self-defense especially from police brutality. Section 1:…

    • 3360 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    The important idea developed by Rilke in this passage is that beauty lies within individual, which originates from the heart and when it blossoms, it is expressed as a captivating, exquisite, and alluring spirit that is not easy to contain. World is the playground of beauty, it is found everywhere, in all the structures of space-time. Rilke uses the figurative language of ‘roots’ must spread into the “very depths of the heart” and it should ‘command to write’ to be a poet. This metaphor suggests…

    • 209 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Letter One Rilke Analysis

    • 928 Words
    • 4 Pages

    In “Letter one” from Letters to a young poet, Rainer Maria Rilke uses specific words and sentences to develop his tone. Rilke has a tone that implies that he is an experienced poet yet he has respect for the young poet. Although he is a much more experienced poet he isn’t arrogant. In his advice he both begs and demands to the young poet. When Rilke thanks the young poet he says it directly by saying “I want to thank you” and “I thank you once more” (Page 5-6).Some impactful words and sentences he…

    • 928 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays