How does Ted Hughes skillfully use nature to reflect upon the aspects of human nature through the poem "Pike"?

In "Pike," Ted Hughes's emphasis upon the "legendary depth" of the pond in which the speaker is fishing and the immense age and size of the pike underscore the fact that nature itself is vast. Hughes depicts the speaker first approaching a pond with the intention of bending the pike to his will, as humans always feel we can do, before realizing that it is the ancient pike who are "watching" him.

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In his poem “Pike,” Ted Hughes paints a fascinating portrait of these rather nasty fish. They are born “killers from the egg,” he asserts. They're beautiful with “green tigering the gold,” and they dance on the surface of the water. But they are also predators, and even at three inches long, they present a “malevolent aged grin.” As they grow, these grand pike exhibit both “delicacy and horror.” They lie in wait for their prey, hidden in the debris of leaves, unnoticed until they strike.

The speaker then reflects on how he once kept three pike in a tank. They were small, but soon two of them were dead, killed by the victorious third, which remained, grinning broadly. The speaker, in fact, had watched as that third fish killed its last companion, noting how even in death the eyes of the defeated pike still held their iron hardness.

Finally, the speaker turns his attention to one of his favorite fishing ponds, in which a huge pike lurks, watching the fisherman, too wise...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 930 words.)

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