Literary Term Paper

Pages: 2 (758 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

¶ … Kipling

Rudyard Kipling's "The Hyenas" a prosody analysis

The Hyenas" by Rudyard Kipling is a lyric poem. It is written in a fairly conventional rhythmic structure, as the first stanza rhymes along the format of abab, the second cdcd, etc., with a fairly steady iambic pace. This formal structure and measured pace, however, stands in stark contrast to the poem's actual text, which tells the story of hyenas, scavenger animals, ripping apart the corpses of "poor dead soldier[s] of the King." The animals "know that the dead are safer meat/Than the weakest thing alive." The poet marvels at the cruelty of the hyenas, how they can have no concern or compassion for the dead, the loved ones the dead have left behind, or the cause the soldiers suffered for. The animals simply prefer the dead to children, goats and worms, for other, living beasts might fight back. Although the actual speaker of the poem, the "we" is a synecdoche-like pronoun speaking for the entire British army, the visions of the poem itself evolve along the lines of a kind of fantasy on the part of the speaker, as the rest of the army retires and he envisions what transpires after he withdraws in the company of the rest of the other fighting, living men.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Term Paper on Literary Aspects Assignment

The form the poem may say to embody is a eulogy, but hardly a heroic one, where a dead person is lionized. It is a eulogy for anonymous men who are treated without respect, for no other reason than they are common soldiers of the crown. The poem contains flashes of ironic wit, but it is bitter and sympathetic in tone to the men: "How he died and why he died/Troubles them [the hyenas] not a whit." The hyenas take more loving "account" of the dead men than do the higher officers, apparently, or the British public. Thus, they become stand-ins for the British aristocracy, feeding off of the blood and bones of the men. But they, the final lines of the poem remind the reader, have no souls, unlike British men and women who ought to have souls and feel for the sacrifice of these individuals. (the animals thus also are kind of stand-ins for the non-Christian enemy, if one reads non-Christians… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Literary."  Essaytown.com.  April 18, 2005.  Accessed March 8, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/literary-aspects/8331745.