Themes and Meanings

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 416

The three main themes of Hyperion are: process, power, and poetry. The epic narrative examines how change in status and perception is a characteristic of all process. The conflict between generations of gods is a dramatization of the resistance of the past to claims of the present; while the poem focuses on the utterances of the Titans as signs of recovering energy, its thrust is toward the futility of efforts by the Titans to prevent their defeat. History is a succession of discrete generations, governed by a universal law of change. Whether Oceanus’s interpretation of this process as progressive is correct the poem does not confirm, because it does not conclude.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Hyperion Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Certainly, however, the poem confirms the pain of dislocation and disorientation which occurs in the process of transferring power, as the Titans are impressively miserable in their monumental, static condition. They barely relieve their misery by talking about it, yet that is the only means available to them for mitigation of their humiliation. There is irony at work in the poem’s use of changing point of view, because the huge Titans ineffectively bluster about revenge while the young, troubled Apollo wanders aimlessly toward his divine destiny. In all instances, furthermore, the heroic gods are guided by heroic goddesses, to suggest that the physical power of males is administered by the greater power of females (manifested in their pity, their sensitivity, and their respect for the past).

The feelings of Thea, Clymene, and Mnemosyne are focused by their responses to the new powers of beauty manifested in the...

(The entire section contains 416 words.)

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Hyperion study guide. You'll get access to all of the Hyperion content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

  • Themes
  • Critical Essays
  • Analysis
  • Quotes
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Critical Essays

Explore Study Guides