What was Henley's intention when he wrote the poem, "Invictus"?  none.

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's difficult, if not impossible, to say what led Henley to write "Invictus", but since the poem is about possessing inner strength, it may be that Henley was facing, or had faced, some very difficult times in his life.  Having made it through those times with his spirit still intact might have led him to write the very inspirational poem.  One source said that he suffered from tuberculosis which would have been a debilitating disease. He begins the poem by saying that no matter how difficult his troubles may be, he is the one in charge.  He is the one who has to make his decisions and live with them; he cannot and will not blame anyone else.  He goes on to say that he has had some rough times but he has come through them with his head held high.  He knows that he has more troubles ahead of him to face before death, but that does not daunt him.  He ends by saying that it doesn't matter what problems have fallen his way or even how much he might have sinned because, in the end, he is the one responsible for his actions and his fate.