Here are a range of practice essay questions for Ted Hughes’ poetry that are written following the CAIE / Cambridge IGCSE 0475 / 0992 style exam format. Some are taken directly from past papers, whereas others are composed using similar wording and structures that are used for other poets on that syllabus
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CAIE IGCSE Poetry, Songs of Ourselves, Volume 2, Part 4
CAIE IGCSE Poetry, Songs of Ourselves, Volume 1, Part 4
CIE IGCSE Poetry Essay Questions 2023-2025, Part 1
CAIE IGCSE Poetry Essay Questions 2023-2025, Part 2
- How is the central theme of time explored in the poem ‘A Memory’?
- ‘A Memory’ presents farm work as a hard but rewarding and noble job. To what extent do you agree or disagree with that statement?
- Compare the presentation of the working class in ‘A Memory’, and one other poem you have studied. Think about themes, languages, and form.
- “The speaker’s brother is an important character in Anniversary.” To what extent do you agree?
- How far would you agree that ‘Anniversary’ is a tragic poem?
- Compare the presentation of family relationships in ‘Anniversary’ and one other poem in your collection.
- Discuss Hughes’ attitude to religion and spirituality in ‘Anniversary’ and one other poem that you have studied.
- Examine the themes of fate and God explored in the poem ‘Cat and Mouse’. Include whether you agree with the poet’s view of fate as described in the poem.
- Analyse the parallels between nature and human life described in ‘Cat and Mouse’, and one other poem that you have studied. Consider the structure, language and context.
- “We feel no pity for the mouse in the poem, because he is just part of the natural life cycle.” To what extent do you agree with this interpretation?
- “The result of the match was not important to the speaker of the poem.” To what extent do you agree or disagree with that statement? Give your reasons.
- Examine the ways in which the speaker used humorous, childlike or whimsical imagery in the poem ‘Football at Slack’.
- Compare the presentation of sport and sport players in ‘Football at Slack’ and one other poem you have studied. Think about the language, themes and context.
- To what extent does Hawk’s godlike persona seem believable in the poem ‘Hawk Roosting’?
- From the speaker’s viewpoint, how is humanity a lower form of existence in the poem ‘Hawk Roosting’?
- Discuss the poem’s presentation of leadership and power in the poem ‘Hawk Roosting’.
- How does Hughes explore nature in the poem ‘Hawk Roosting’?
- Human nature compels many of us to extend life as much as possible, maybe even infinitely, but Hughes ‘Relic’ seems to stand as a premonition for their failure. To what extent do you agree with Hughes’ vision?
- Examine the ways Hughes explores the theme of survival in ‘Relic’. Look at the language, themes and form.
- In what ways does the title ‘Relic’ express the poem’s main themes and concerns?
- How does the poet create an atmosphere of mystery and wonder in ‘Roe Deer’? Use references from the poem in your answer.
- ‘Roe Deer’ is neither a happy nor a sad poem. Do you agree? Explain your thoughts.
- Compare the way nature and animals are presented in ‘Roe Deer’, and one other poem you have studied.
- Examine the way in which Hughes presents his thoughts on the interactions between humans and the wilderness in the poem.
- In what way does Hughes explore the theme of nature’s cruelty in ‘Snowdrop’?
- Read Ted Hughes’ ‘Relic’ and compare its approach to animal life in both poems. Is the marine life he describes in ‘Relic’ different from the terrestrial life depicted in ‘Snowdrop’?
- The context of emerging technology is an important theme in ‘Telegraph Wires’. Compare and contrast the attitudes towards technology in this and another poem you have studied.
- How does ‘Telegraph Wires’ explore the connection between humans and the natural landscape?
- “Hughes prefers nature to human company.” In reference to ‘Telegraph Wires’ and one other poem you have studied, to what extent would you agree with this statement?
- How does Hughes explore the power of nature in ‘The Harvest Moon’?
- To what extent would you consider ‘The Harvest Moon’ an ominous poem, with an apocalyptic tone?
- In what ways does Hughes strikingly convey a sense of fear and awe in the poem ‘The Harvest Moon’?
- ‘Ted Hughes is a poet who blows hot and cold with the same breath.’ Discuss the relevance of this statement to the poem ‘The Horses’. Reference language used, structure and context.
- Think about the way nature is represented in this poem, and compare it to one other poem you have studied.
- How does Ted Hughes structure to mirror the relationships between humans and nature, in ‘The Horses’?
- How does Hughes approach the theme of entitlement in ‘The Other’?
- “The speaker only feels resentment towards the addressee (the ‘you’ of the poem).” To what extent do you agree?
- How does the poem explore ideas about ghosts and the supernatural in the poem ‘The Other’?
- How does Hughes use striking imagery to create a curious mood in the poem ‘The Thought-Fox’?
- Compare the representation of animals in ‘The Thought-Fox’ and another poem you have studied. Think about themes, structure and language.
- The poem ‘The Thought-Fox’ is more about the speaker’s experience than the fox itself. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
- How does Hughes use language to bring nature to life in the poem ‘Wind’?
- “The poem is not satisfying for the reader.” Do you agree? Justify your answer using the text.
- To what extent does the poem depict humans as powerless and fragile in the face of nature?