What does the Jaguar represent in Ted Hughes's poem "TheJaguar"?

Essay by s_obaidullah2001University, Bachelor'sB, March 2004

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Ted Hughes is one of the most famous names in the contemporary world of poetry. He is called the animal poet, because many of his poems describe animals and represent human beings by using animal imagery. Animal kingdom is his private mythology. He has an extraordinary way of looking into life. He exposes human follies, anger, and hatred through the animal kingdom. His themes are explored by means of image, myth and symbol.

The Jaguar is a poem about a fierce animal from the image of which Ted Hughes unearths something about human nature. On the surface, the poem is an animal poem which reminds us of the wrath and violence of the Jaguar. It is a symbolic poem about an animal which is fiercely energetic. Here the poet reveals his thoughts through a sight of a zoo. The animals like the apes, the parrots and even the snakes, tigers and lion seemed to be quite content with their present situation.

These animals as they accepted imprisonment, rest in somnolence. For instance, the apes ravel in yawning and adoring their fleas in the sun. The parrots are uttering loud cries or moving about proudly as to attract the attention of the spectators and get nuts from them. The tiger and the lion looked tired and lazy as they lie motionless in the sunlight. In fact, all of these animals are fatigued with indolence. As a result, the zoo looks like a multicolored picture painted on a nursery wall by the very students of the nursery. Even the boa-constrictor seems to have lost its strength and velocity and lies like an ancient fossil.

In fact, the zoo is an artificial place where the animals being removed form their natural habitation, are put in cage after cage. Since the animals are taken...