Sunday, April 7, 2019
Extended commentary of The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy Essay Example for Free
Extended commentary of The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy EssayOn the title A thrush is a bird plump, soft-plumaged, small to medium-sized, often seasons inhabiting wooded atomic number 18as. They feed on the ground or eat small fruit save arent famed for their songs. Examples include a robin. Darkling is an archaic reciprocation for a creature of darkness or in the dark. Hardy uses it in its latter sense the bird appears in a really gloomy sentiment, at the end of the day, at the end of the year (and century, for that matter). It similarly has negative con nonations as well, barely for obvious reasons.Potential other implications darkling is perhaps used to create a diminutive bod of the thrush (like a duckling). Other critics have identified the title as explaining, or preparing the reader for the unexpected orgasm of the bird half way through the metrical composition, appearing into the scene from nowhere. mayhap Hardy was attempting to use an antiquitated word to further demonstrate the bird is bringing joy to a dark land, and that there exists an enormous time difference between the new century and the old?Overall Structure Hardy uses quartet unshakable eight line iambic stanzas in either tetrameter or trimeter, depending on the length of the line. This meter creates a poetic lilt, with alternate stressed feet. It seems very out of place in such a uncheerful poem we must question why this is. Does it reflect the hope expressed at the end of the poem, or prepares us for it? Or does it tell of an rumity within the persona is his negative manner actually authenticated perhaps we shouldnt accept the personas judgment/emotions to the same extent as hed like us to? His choice of rhyme scheme and meter along with the harsh subject fail to match up.Themes fourth dimension (passing of century), Isolation, Man and the Natural World.Difficult Language strike outs Darkling discussed above. Illimited is an archaic form of unlimited.First a nd atomic number 16 Stanza Notes As plebeian, Hardy presents us with an image, this time of a landscape a depressing unrivalled, at that. This poem was published at the end of the century 31st December 1900 (Hardy was one of those people who believe that a century is complete when the hundredth year is over.) It is very cold and frosty and the day is growing to a close. It really is the end of a century.And Hardy presents us with a very clear image of remainder he later personifies the Century itself as being dead. The first two stanzas are full of death-language1. When freeze was spectre-gray. A clear example of ghost imagery (a spectre). This line is of inte quell on its own, due to the obvious personification of Frost. This is a good place to make a discern note about the poem itself. Throughout, we discover a distinct Hardy-esque style the environment is unpleasant and it demonstrates his usual antics in animism. Hardy develops complex (and often deeply personal) symbol ic systems which deal almost exclusively with the native adult male. The reader is made personal with non-human entities like frost and birds but avoids people raze the persona is a subject avoided in great detail.1. Back with the death imagery, The weakening eyeball of day a comment on the darkening sky the day is dying.1. All mankind that taken up(p) nigh haunted is clearly a reference to death and ghosts. Hardy is commenting on the lack of human life in his scene they had sought their household fires. A further indication of the low temperature. Is it a hint that the world is ending? Or is that just a little extreme? In any case, note how the rest of humanity are seeking light in an otherwise dark environment.The second stanza contains an extended parable involving the dead century, but we need to examine the first stanza more before moving on.Hardys persona is leaning upon a coppice gate a gate into a small wood or coppice. It is a highly ambiguous persona (another(p renominal) thing to explore), but he leans nevertheless. The scene is wintry, indeed, along with Frost, spend is personified equally Winters dregs made desolate/ The weakening eye of day. The dregs of the season indicate a very cold atmosphere one without much colour. intelligibly this has emptied the scene of any colourful sight upon which the eye of day weakens. The day is ending thus nightfall darkens the scene.Tangled bine-stems scored the sky/ Like strings of broken lyres. As before mentioned, the persona is standing in woodland, thus Bine-stems are tree branches. Hardys comparison of them to broken lyres is interesting. Lyres are a) harmonious in Classical literature and b) belong only in Classical literature. Hardy is clearly stating that the scene is not harmonious or perhaps the death-lament later mentioned isnt. Or is it also a reference Hardys romantic passion for the past, that it was somehow better than the day in which he writes?Second Stanza Notes The first four lines of this stanza deal explicitly with Hardys dead Century metaphor. He imagines the land before him as the Centurys corpse outleant. Quite what outleant means, I have no idea, (The OED has confirmed that outleant is not, nor ever has been a word) but his crypt becomes the cloudy canopy (the cloudy sky) and the wind his death-lament. One need not explain it in any more detail the implications are quite explicit. Hardys persona clearly didnt approve of the past century, but had yet to indicate an emotional reflection on the future. He imagines England as a rotting corpse, essentially. However, note the use of the verb seems is all as it seems?However, Hardy goes on to write even more damningly of his personas scene. The ancient pulse of germ and birth the regenerative power of life, following Winters onslaught was shrunken dry and hard. Nothing appears to be growing back is this another indication of the end of the world, or certainly of an era. Hardy appears to be making the simple change of an dictatorial number into something quite different, and more serious. A degeneration of life itself. Indeed, every spirit upon earth/ Seemed fervourless than I. very negative.Observe how silent the description is up to this point in the poem. There is an implied operose in both(prenominal) the death-lament and of broken lyres, but otherwise, the sound is non-existent. That changes soon.Here comes the VOLTA.Third Stanza NotesAt once a voice arose amongThe stark naked twigs overheadIn a full-hearted evensongOf Joy illimitedHardy emphasizes a sudden change with the wrangle At once indeed, there are multiple changes which create this volta* Note the sudden inclusion of sound the thrush is singing This breaks the poetic still (of death) which has held the poem so far.* The length of sentence also changes. Note the semicolon at the end of these four lines above. Previously, each quatrain had completed with a full stop. Perhaps Hardy is opening up his poetic form to mirror the sudden movement in the lines themselves. The use of enjambment accentuates this.There are perhaps religious connotations with evensong. Much as Hardy may simply be over again referring to the mundane fact that the bird is singing a song and eve, we pray that the man is sufficient of higher minded comparisons. These vaguely religious nuances are maintained throughout the poem.The crucial fact is that the imagination has changed, perhaps. Of Joy illimited suggests a pleasant image, which stands in stark contrast to the surrounding gloom.An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,In blast-beruffled plume, just the mood is suddenly plunged back into the red with Hardys following lines. The thrush, which is, admittedly, a very odd bird to chose (not famed for their song), is an elderly figure in a storm hence the blast-beruffled plume. In this otherwise grim situation, the readers immediate concern is whether the bird itself is going to survive at all The use of frail, ga unt, and small mirrors the ghoulish imagery used in the first two stanzas the thrush is alive, for certain, but perhaps the persona questions for how much longer?Note how the thrush is NOT personified. Every other element of the subjective world takes an animated form, but not the bird Why does Hardy do this?Had chosen thus to fling his soulUpon the growing gloom.Perhaps desperation is the key word in this stanza, but also hope. There is a powerful message in the face of this ghoulish bird that, in cattiness of all the darkness and death, the thrush maintains his song.Stanza Four NotesSo little cause for carolingsOf such ecstatic soundWas indite on terrestrial thingsAfar or nigh around,Once again, Hardys use of enjambment allows for the lines to bleed into each other in a direct contrast to the poems author rigidity. Perhaps he is now gathering momentum for a change in mood? Yet, in terms of sense, Hardy appears to be doing the opposite. He states that the bird has no reason t o be singing a joyful song amongst so much desolation. However, perhaps, by even considering such a fact, the personas own deep-rooted pessimism is beginning to shift away?On some key language points* Note more religious emphasis carolings typically sing hymns at Christmas time. Hymns are definitely religious* Perhaps there is an equally religious connotation which Hardy applies to his comments on the terrestrial things. If there is not any cause for singing about things on Earth, then perhaps, reciprocally, there is cause for celebrating the sky, or heaven?That I could think there trembled throughHis happy good-night airSome blessed Hope, whereof he knewAnd I was unaware.It is a rather ambiguous ending upon which Hardy chooses to conclude, but he achieves a sense of dramatic substance through it. The persona realises the movement of (a perhaps religious) hope, in the fact of utter desperation, but it is unintelligible to him. In an odd way, the reader is forced to consider whethe r the persona is being entirely accurate* Can one be unaware of something, yet still able to write about it?* Does this tell us that the persona, as a Modernist, is able to perceive such an uplifting messages but unable to interpret them in such a way as to release himself from the dark? Hardy himself was a modernist and therefore dwells upon an odd rophy of ideas. Amongst them was searching for hope/meaning to darkness and cruelty. Despite being a realist, he was deeply influenced by Romantic notions (look them up) perhaps this exploration is one of them?* The use of blessed again implies a deified presence within the thrushs message. Is the persona experiencing some divine inspiration?