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The tension of the poem "The Stag" by Ted Hughes is, of course, between man and nature. This tension mounts with the arrival in the first stanza of the "traffic jam" of men who are in disharmony, scrambling, with children crying, fighting, and tangling. In contrast to this is the cry of hounds; in contrast, each stanza ends with a simple,flowing, natural sentence about the stag: "The stag ran through the forest" or "The stag loped through his favourite valley."
The convergence of the unnatural "blue horseman" who is "[S]odden nearly black, on sodden horses" upon "the brown impassable river" conveys the unharmonious nature of those involved in the hunt of the noble stag.
As they begin to chase the stag, his graceful gait and calm beauty quickly reveal the terror created within him by the hunters who force him to "drop[ped] into a strange country." The invasion of the farmers and hunters and dogs create a ritualized violence. Indeed, the theme of man's destructive violence against nature is apparent.
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