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Analysis of The Poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley

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‘Invictus’ is a ballad loaded up with the understandings and vision of the creator. It was composed by the incomparable William Ernest Henley in 1875. The word invictus itself, is Latin for ‘unconquerable’. This subject is carried on all through the ballad in stanza’s, most clearly, ‘for my unconquerable soul.’ The topic is subordinate from the encounters Henley was experiencing at the time he composed this work of art. The infection that wracked his body, tuberculosis, and his fight with it, roused ‘Invictus’. Henley had been determined to have tuberculosis at the youthful age of twelve. His foot had turned out to be tainted and in this manner was cut away. Albeit prompted by specialists, Henley would not have his other foot endure a similar destiny. Henley carried on with a full life until the age of fifty-six.The lyric was composed while Henley was still hospitalized.

‘Invictus’ starts by presenting evil spirits, snags, or a negative nearness. This is spoken to by ‘Out of the night that spreads me’. ‘Night’ which means Henley’s difficulties, all the more explicitly, his tuberculosis. The lyric depicts the ‘night’ to be ‘Dark as the Pit from shaft to post’. Implying that this ‘night’ is no simple deterrent. It is something justifying dread, being enormous, and dull, something ready to ‘spread’ or assume control over him in the event that he didn’t have the solidarity to beat it. However, he states in the last stanzas of the section that he has quite recently that, quality. ‘I thank whatever divine beings might be For my unconquerable soul’. His ‘unconquerable soul’ is the quality that he posesses that does not enable him to be taken over by ailment, or ‘night’.

He goes on in the second section to state that ‘In the fell grasp of situation, I have not recoiled nor cried so anyone might hear’. This essentially expresses whatever he might experience (for example the removal or torment of his leg) he has not ostensibly expressed the misery within him. ‘Under the cudgels of shot, My head is wicked, yet unbowed.’ Through the cold-bloodedness of destiny, whatever he endured, he may have been harmed physically, inwardly, or rationally he didn’t surrender. He didn’t bow down, he held his head high against his evil presences and demonstrated no dread for his future. This demonstrates his mental fortitude, assurance and respect.

‘Past this spot of rage and tears’ signifies the dismal and difficult occasions that were available, ‘Weaving machines the ghastliness of the Shade’ were just paving the way to the what is verifiably more awful. ‘But then the threat of the years, Finds, and will discover, me unafraid’ signifies in realizing that such unpleasant occasions could or will deteriorate, he faces them with much more grit and conviction than if he hadn’t known.

In the last section of this lyric Henley completes effectively. ‘It is important not how straight the stride’ which means it didn’t make a difference how limited, exacting or single direction it had appeared. ‘How accused of disciplines the parchment’ which means regardless of how often his activities may have exploded backward, his lament for his choices or what the results were for his decisions. ‘I am the ace of my destiny: I am the skipper of my spirit.’ He was the one in charge. He could change the results, he would direct of his own future. Henley would not surrender to his tuberculosis, he would change his destiny and battle with his quality. He knew his identity and he would vanquish his evil presences. 

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Analysis Of The Poem Invictus By William Ernest Henley. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from
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