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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Hero, by Rabindranath Tagore

 The narrative poem" The Hero" was written by Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. Set in a young boy's imaginations this narrative has all the necessary elements and is rich in imagery. The characters, plot, setting, theme, climax and idea are all very clearly outlined.
 The setting of the poem falls within the boy's imagination. It is described to have 'spiky grass' and a 'narrow broken path'. It is also mentioned that the country is 'strange and dangerous'. The rurality of the setting is further accentuated when Tagore talks of the 'cattle' and 'wide fields'.

The plot revolves around the young boy's heroism in order to extinguish the flame of his mother's fear. It is shown that the travelers are ambushed by a band of 'villains' and that the boy is brave enough to fight them. This shows his undying love for his mother. 
Image result for the hero by rabindranath tagoreAll of the narrative elements are present in Tagore's poem" The Hero". The climax of the story, the theme, the characters along with the plot and setting succeed in proving that 'Characterization is one of the most powerful tools a writer uses to influence the perspective of his readers' . Without the correct characterization, everything from the plot to the title would be misfits.
  Titled " The Hero" Tagore's poem is a narrative that has a clear link to it's heading. The poem deals with a young boy who envisions himself as his mother's savior. This poem showcases courage and kindness, two traits a 'hero' should have. It also showcases sacrifice.
 As the boy describes the details of his story, it is clear that he one day aspires to be ' The Hero' he talks of , and seems to find so admirable. He depicts each scene with vivid imagery, and isn't modest as he describes his mother's affection for him.
 I believe that the narrative is deserving of the title that it has been given, and that " The Hero" is a timeless poem in its theme. Although through the years, crime rates have fluctuated, every child dreams of being some sort of Hero to their family.
 Tagore's poem, among other things, is rich in imagery. The poem is set through the storytelling of a young boy who has a unique imagination. Through his imagery, Tagore has made it sound as though it really is a young boy describing the scenes from his dreams. He has given the words a new life.
 He uses vivid imagery both as he describes the 'dark and dangerous' country and as he describes the treacherous villains. It is clearly mentioned at the start of the poem, that the boy wishes for his mother to imagine, letting the readers know that what comes next is fiction, even in the world of fiction.
 Tagore describes the country as ' dark' and 'dim'. He also mentions that there is a river bank nearby, and talks of  'spiky grass' and ' broken paths'. All of the visual detail mentioned above help to shed more light on the images in the boy's mind.
 ' The Hero'  vividly describes the treacherous villains that ambush the protagonist and his mother. He marks their hair, that is ' all wild about their heads' and the 'long sticks they carry in their hands. These descriptions add to the enigma of the renegades. Tagore evidently showcases his skill for description in a subtle way, and in the one, that best fits his narrative.
 In his poem, Tagore displays exceptional characterization, specifically when it comes to the young boy. He has characteristics which are displayed evidently as he takes the role of the courageous Hero, but is subtly indicated that the boy in reality wants only to be fawned over.
 The Hero shows the traits of courage, kindness, generosity and love. The two he portrays the most however,  are that of courage and love. He is immensely brave as he rushes forward to face his new found enemies, but this seemingly tough character also has a softer side.
 He is battling the villains to protect himself, but mostly to protect his frightened mother. This shows that he thinks of others before himself and is very sensitive towards others' feelings. The Hero has been wonderfully characterized and displays ubiquitous skill.
  Through his narrative, Tagore has depicted the love and affection that a mother and son share . As the son shares his story with his mother, her reactions are kept concealed from the audience. I would imagine, that her emotions would be conflicted, but lean towards the happier side. She may have been happy that her son wanted to protect her so direly, while being terrified of he violence that haunted his visions. She could have been touched by the amount of love her son felt for her, while being insulted that she was portrayed as such a delicate and fragile creature.
 On the whole, I think the mother's emotions would be similar to those in the boy's story. She would most probably be touched and proud of the love and protection she was gifted by her son. I conclude, Rabindranath Tagore's " The Hero" has impeccable characterization, and application of other narrative elements that help bring the emotions and thoughts underlying the words to life.

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  1. Terrific poem and nice interpretation! Sounds so much better in Bangla, hear this with the speakers turned on fairly high as the audio quality is not too great:

  2. Copy-paste the URL if it doesn't work from the comment...

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  5. Replies
    1. Sir, will all due respect- do not comment unnecessarily, negating the pains the author has put into writing the post. Getting a comment like that can really hurt a writer's feelings and motivation. I encourage you not do the same again.

  6. Excellent explanation


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