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Chapter 4 - The Crucifixion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 June 2019

David Troupes
Affiliation:
University of Sheffield
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Summary

The central symbolic event of the Christian religion appears everywhere in Hughes’s poetry and prose, explicitly and implicitly, as a fundamental metaphysical statement about the human condition. This chapter begins with a discussion of “Hawk in the Rain,” the opening and title poem of Hughes’s first collection, as an update of Hopkin’s explicitly Christological poem “The Windhover,” which leads to a consideration of how the crucifixion has been made less horrific over the years through the use of comforting cultural “roses.” Making much use of the theologian Paul Tillich, this chapter introduces the concept of teleological freedom, of which the crucifixion is a powerful representation, not least in Hughes’s poetry. Key crufixional Crow poems, especially “Crow Blacker Than Ever,” are discussed, and the prevailing critical reading overturned. The chapter concludes with a theological and literary look at Jesus’ death-cry, an act which echoes repeatedly in Hughes’s work.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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  • The Crucifixion
  • David Troupes, University of Sheffield
  • Book: Ted Hughes and Christianity
  • Online publication: 17 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108594363.004
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  • The Crucifixion
  • David Troupes, University of Sheffield
  • Book: Ted Hughes and Christianity
  • Online publication: 17 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108594363.004
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Crucifixion
  • David Troupes, University of Sheffield
  • Book: Ted Hughes and Christianity
  • Online publication: 17 June 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108594363.004
Available formats
×