Her Husband by Ted Hughes
Her Husband’ by Ted Hughes – Criticism Essay In the poem ‘Her Husband’, by Ted Hughes we are shown a man who returns home to his wife under the influence of alcohol after a hard day at work. We are shown that his wife has to clean up after him and that he does not treat her too well. This poem has five stanzas, all of which are quatrains, maybe to show us the repetitiveness of the husband coming home under the influence of alcohol. The lines are of unequal length and the poet might have used this technique to show us how undependable the husband was.
The poem appears to be quite modern as it is irregular in most aspects. In this poem, Ted Hughes might be narrating to us a personal story about how he might have arrived home under the influence of alcohol and mistreated his wife and did not appreciate everything she did for him.
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The poet uses many adjectives throughout the poems which helps us gain more vivid images and to understand what he is trying to explain to us better. He also uses quite a number of verbs which help us imagine the characters as they move around their house and go about their business.
The words used are quite formal and this formality might have been used to show the coldness of the husband and wife’s relationship. In: ‘Line 10’ we are given a description of the food the wife has cooked her husband which has gotten burnt probably due to him returning home late from work. We are shown an image of her husband singing a song while walking around the house, ‘Line 13-14’. We also see the wife reacting to her husband’s current state, ‘Line 16’. In ‘Line 3’, an ellipse is used through the omittance of the word ‘the’ twice.
The personification, ‘Line 4’ shows us how hard it is to earn a living and how hard it is to earn money. We are shown that the husband’s voice when singing is very harsh and deep in the metaphor, ‘Line 15’. We are reminded in this stanza that at the end of their lives, when this wife and husband die, they are going to be judged by God in heaven. They will be rewarded for everything good and all the hard work they have done, but will also be punished for all of the times that they have sinned and done wrong.
The rhythm of the poem is quite fast, with very few uses of punctuation which cause the reader to speed up his tone. However, in certain lines, such as ‘Line 10’, caesura’s are used to slow down the pace, maybe to make the reader think about what is happening. There is an irregular rhyme scheme used with none of the lines rhyming. The poet uses a very monotonous tone and seems to portray an attitude throughout most of the poem where he is simply telling us the story about the husband and wife.
However in the last stanza we see his opinion about this situation in the fact that he believes they will be judged in Heaven. From the words used, I believe that he is trying to let us know that they will be judged harshly for their wrong actions. I enjoyed reading this poem very much because I believe that the poet does a tremendous job of displaying the fact that not all people are sometimes given equal rights and that abuse is a very large part of our world. The poet managed to bring all of this to my attention while also writing a very lovely poem. Words: 604