Q.1. “Hawk’s Monologue” is the speech of a savage bird of prey who takes pride in his unchallenged power to kill and destroy.
Or The poem also exposes the attitude and misconceptions of power-drunk persons in this world.
Or How is Hawk a king or dictator in his feelings and ideas? Is it true “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”?
This poem is a dramatic monologue delivered by the ‘hawk’ who boasts much of his superiority over other birds. He thinks that he is the most powerful creation of Nature and has a complete right to kill others. He sees all the creations under his feet. He is always power-drunk, proud, and ready to kill. “Hawk” is a symbol of absolute power, authority, and destruction. He also stands for those dictators who wish to have unlimited powers for them.
It is correct that power corrupts. Like all the worldly monarchs, power has corrupted him, and is also misled by his physical strength. He considers himself to be the reason and cause of creation and rightful sole ruler of it. They do not listen to any reason and believe that is the greatest on earth. They treat others with contempt and do not hesitate to torture or destroy them for their pleasure. But they forget the fact that they also have to face death and destruction. They do not accept the reality that, no one in this world is permanent, everything changes and declines here. Sometimes they realize their mistake but too late.
Q.2. Discuss the theme of the poem. Do Hawk’s assertions of all powerfulness impress you? If not, Why?
Ted Hughes is a modern English poet. Death, destruction, power and violence are the main themes of his poetry. The theme of this poem is the inflexibility and pride of the so-called dictators.
The Hawk is very proud of his superiority and power. He claims to be the finest of all the creatures. He asserts his powers in different ways. “Hold Creation in my foot “, “I kill where I please because it is all mine”, “There is no sophistry in my body”, “Allotment of death”, “one path of my flight is direct”, “Through the bones of the living”, “The sun is behind me”, “Nothing has changed since I began” and “The sun is behind me,” express the vastness of his powers. Then the last two lines close the poem with a powerful assertion “My eye has permitted no change; I am going to keep things like this.” He says “I am the monarch of all I survey” and “Now I hold Creation in my foot.” Hawk’s assertions of all powerfulness impress us least because they all are hollow and they only mislead him. He cannot kill the bigger birds which are beyond his range.