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Invictus by William Ernest Henley

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carter cake

on 20 March 2014

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Transcript of Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Invictus
Theme/ intention
In William Ernest Henley's poem "Invictus", the use of strong and descriptive language and extravagant metaphors help clearly convey the theme of the poem which is to never lose hope no matter the circumstance, and how you control your fate and decide your future.
"I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul."
"Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody, but unbowed."


"In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud."
Invictus
by
William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody, but unbowed.

beyond this place of wrath and tears, looms but the horror of the shade, and yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

it matters not how straight the gate, how changed with punishment the scroll. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.
"The menace of the years finds, and shall find, me unafraid."
"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."
To many of us Mount Everest is something many of us will never conquer and is a symbol of dominance. Some feel they were put on this world to conquer all things challenging and live life in the light of God while doing it. this picture, like the quote, shows us something(Mt Everest) that is unconquerable to many but if you put your mind and heart to anything in life all is conquerable.
This picture best conveys the message of this line of the poem because it is a picture of a man running up a huge flight of stairs, which to many people, would be an immense task. The line states that no matter what the task before you, you must try your best to conquer it, and not cry or make excuses to give up. You must fight the pain and complete your goal.
This is a picture of a man standing tall, which is what the line is talking about. After taking everything that life throws at you you have to still stand tall and be proud of who you are and all that you have accomplished.
This picture resembles courage. It is the action of doing things, not being afraid of the outcome that may happen if you do the action. The quote states, "the menace of the years finds, and shall find, me unafraid." The key word in this quote is unafraid which is implying that no matter what one does or doesn't do, one will not live life making decisions based on being scared of the result.
This picture at first glance may come across as a joke but when you look closely at it you see that it means and resembles much more. If life was a highway and you were driving on it you have many options some good some bad. You can take the exits that get you to your destination quickest or you miss an exit but take the long way and still get there. The point is that your destination is your successful future and its up to you what "exit" you want to take because you are the master, the captain of your soul.
Facts about the author
Henley was born in Gloucester and was the oldest of a family of six children, five sons and a daughter.
his poem "invictus" was meant to reflect his resilience when his foot was amputated due to tubercular infection.
he went to school at The Crypt School in his home town of Gloucester
Henley died of tuberculosis in 1903 at the age of 53.
William Ernest Henley had a red beard
Vocabulary
bludgeonings: beat (someone) repeatedly with a bludgeon or other heavy object.
wrath: extreme anger
menace: a person or thing that is likely to cause harm; a threat or danger.
Poetic Devices
Imagery: the use of descriptive language to appeal to one or more of the five senses.
examples: "blodgeonings of chance.." (touch)
"looms the horror of the shade.." (sight)
simile: a comparison using like or as.
example: "..black as the pit from pole to pole.."
Questions
1- This poem uses very medieval and descriptive language. how do you think the meaning of the poem would vary if the language used was more modern
2- Would you read this poem to someone who is in need of some inspiration, or do you feel like it does not meet the criteria of an inspirational poem
a Poem by William Ernest Henley
Full transcript