Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born on 17 August 1930 in Mytholmroyd in Yorkshire. Hughes’s childhood was spent in a coal mining town of South Yorkshire. After completing high school, Hughes served in the Royal Air Force for two years and then joined Pembroke College, Cambridge, and studied archaeology and anthropology, with a special interest in myth and legends. Hughes married the American poet Sylvia Plath in 1956 and both of them moved to the USA and worked as lecturers there. Hughes’s first collection of poems “The Hawk in the Rain”, was published in 1957, winning him a wide range of critical recognition achieving a reputation of international prominence as a poet. The suicide of Sylvia Plath in 1963 drew him into several controversies and the public accused him responsible for her death. Major works of Hughes includes Lupercal (1960), Wodwo (1967), Crow (1970), Moortown (1979), Wolfwatching (1989) etc. The Birthday Letters, was a verse memoir that he wrote for Plath was published in 1998. Hughes was also a popular writer of children’s fiction and his work The Iron Man (1968) gained popularity all over the world. Hughes edited many works of Sylvia Plath and edited popular anthologies like The Rattle Bag (1982) and The School Bag (1997) with Irish poet Seamus Heaney. Hughes translated the works of classical authors like Ovid and Aeschylus.
Hughes was honoured with the Poet Laureateship in 1984 and maintained to be in that position till his death on 20 October 1998. Hughes was also awarded with Order of Merit in 1997.
Ted Hughes is known for his animal poetry and has twenty eight animal poems to his credit, where he tries to attribute animal identity in human beings. Hughes uses animal characters like foxes, crow, jaguar, horses, otters, deer etc. to portray his observations into the surviving spirituality of nature. The poet presented these animals as horrific, controlling and fearless under any means. By employing animal imageries, the poet explores more into the power of nature that he finds missing in human world. Hughes places animals as superior to men and keeps the faith in their purity and strength, situating them closer to the natural world of wildlife. Many readers consider this exaltation of animal world as an intended ridicule to the firm and rigid lives of human beings. Animals can act according to their basic instincts unlike human beings, who are enclosed in the bars of social constrains. Animals are given the dignity of mystical gods. They are presented with the qualities of courage, adventurousness, free of inhibitions etc. These animal portrayals are also used by the poet to exhibit certain themes such as conflict between good and evil, to represent nature and its existence and to use wildlife as a metaphor for human life.
When compared to the animal imagery of D.H. Lawrence one can find the fact that hughes was deeply inspired by D H Lawrence and both their animal imageries are based on the same theme of man’s ignorance and animal’s wisdom. For example in the poem the snake, the poet comes across the snake and harms him and later feels regret for having done so. He puts the blame on his education, for being a human being and describes the snake as a king at the end of the poem. Here, the theme of animal superiority to human beings is the similarity between these two poets. Another similarity is in reference to the usage of pathetic fallacy. Pathetic fallacy is the treatment of inanimate objects or animals as if they had human feelings, thoughts, sensations etc. Both these poets uses this technique to reveal the feelings of the animals. There are also some differences between these two poets with reference to the usage of animal themes. Hughes showcases the picture of his animals in a spiritual and super natural manner whereas D.H. Lawrence’s animals appear in a more natural form. Hughes also portrays his animals as


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