ENGB30 Study Guide - Sylvia Plath

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Published on 14 Dec 2012
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Ted Hughes: Prometheus on his Crag
Monday September 24th, 2012
Ted Hughes (1930 -1998)
Married to Sylvia Plath 1956-1963
Poet Laureate of Britain 1984-1998
Prometheus on his Crag
Begins with Prometheus regaining consciousness oh his crag; ends with Prometheus “easing
free” – his only action in the poem
Populated only by Prometheus, birds, vulture and a lizard
Intense sense of repetition, of circular motion
o Repetition of “Prometheus on his crag…”
o Various explicit references to a return to where one began (ex. 1; 4; 13; 15; 20)
o Reference to Ecclesiastes (6) (circular motion)
o Many recurring motifs
Sun; God; Birds Earth; Vulture; birth; Humanness
Strong focus on Prometheus’s internal state
Dual nature …. Part human and part god
o Read 2; 5; 8; 10; 11; 13; 16
o 2 Prometheus does not give himself any soft padding to fall back on
Does not feel sorry for himself … just accepts it
No other possible outcome for Prometheus
Prometheus reborn as a man not a god
o 5 Reference to Pandora’s jar
Swallows everything in himself
Not a clean resolution
o 8
o 10 Prometheus feels admiration towards tormentor vulture
Why? Vulture has clear sense of purpose… knows what it’s doing
Unlike Prometheus … he does not know his purpose … does not know what he is
doing
Vulture is single minded... and digests Prometheus’s guilt … has no conscience
Prometheus has conscience
Vulture is stable purpose … no guilt… has purpose in life… not bothered by
anything
o 11 Prometheus sees himself as safe because he is anchored
Spike in chest seen as butterfly... which is beautiful and fragile …. Is protective of
“butterfly” … does not want it to fly away
Not moving = preserving moment of euphoria
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