Ted Hughes poem Hawk Roosting can be interpreted in two very different ways. Firstly, it explores -on a literal level- the hawk celebrating itself and its power and control over nature. Hughes begins the poem by writing ‘I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed’ which comments on where the hawk sits in the food chain; at the top, and also suggests that as well as being the ruler of nature he rules blind.
Further down in stanza 3 and 4 Hughes portrays the Hawk as almost godlike as he includes a link with the idea that god creates and is in control of life and death. ‘I kill where I please because it is all mine’ reveals how the Hawk believes he owns and holds everything, ...view middle of the document...
How it is his nature to be violent and aggressive (portrayed in the line ‘my manners are tearing of heads’) and that there is no animal above him who could challenge him (portrayed in the line ‘no arguments assert my right’), therefore he has the control to do whatever he likes with out any competition.
Finally, the Hawks arrogance is demonstrated mainly in the last stanzas where he states that the sun- the embodiment of nature itself- is behind him and supports his actions.
However there is a metaphorical meaning to the poem, which is the idea that the hawk is a representation of a political figure like a politician or a fascist leader like Hitler. This is suggested by how the image of the hawk sitting on top of the world, controlling everything through the threat of violence. The Hawk could be seeing itself as a political leader who has seized power from the forces that made it which links back to line 12 and the sense of the hawk being almost god-like. Likewise, the poem could express the idea that both the Hawk and political figures misuse their power. This is particularly depicted in the lines ‘I kill where I please, because it is all mine’ (line 14) as it suggests that they both believe they can control life and death. Also in line 20-no arguments assert my right- shows again how arrogant he is (he believes that he is always right) but also how powerful he is that nobody would ever challenge him.
Lastly the poem has a very strong regular form that is made up of 6 stanzas of 4 lines each which expresses a sense of strength and control. Nonetheless, the poem is a direct monologue voiced by the hawk itself.