In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. He faces each challenge with courage and is not afraid, and he can surmount any hardship. von William Ernest Henley, zunächst im Original, sodann, vergleichend, in verschiedenen deutschen Übersetzungen, die unterschiedliche, mehr oder weniger gelungene, aber dennoch beachtenswerte Herangehensweisen verdeutlichen (Meine zwei Versionen folgen zum Schluss). It is a rallying cry for those who find themselves in dark and trying situations, who have to dig deep and fight for their lives. Invictus Launch Audio in a New Window. INVICTUS Nelson Mandela film, title inspired by this poem 3. Paper type: Analysis Invictus by William Ernest Henley is a powerful poem portraying the fate of human beings. The movie is based on how the two starring are inspired to unite the people of South Africa who seems to be apart from the era of Apartheid. Here is an analysis of W.E. They became friends and corresponded on a regular basis. The night then becomes a symbol of hopelessness, a depressive medium in which the soul is lost. Every single person that visits PoemAnalysis.com has helped contribute, so thank you for your support. The rising rhythm of the poem sets an optimistic mood in the poem. The most important theme of the poem is suffering and rejuvenation. William Ernest Henley. The author clearly is writing about his own struggles for his pain is obvious in the poem. Written in 1875, the piece is classified as a Victorian poem focusing on the speaker’s willingness to overcome the physical and emotional challenges happening in his life. Born in Gloucester, England Educated at Crypt Grammar School and University of St. Andrews A son of a struggling bookseller who died during his teenage years (father) At 12, diagnosed with tubercular arthritis that necessitated the amputation of … Written in 1875, the piece is classified as a Victorian poem focusing on the speaker’s willingness to overcome the physical and emotional challenges happening in his life. The word “victus” has come from the past participle of “vincere” meaning “to conquer, overcome.” Collectively the word “Invictus” means one who cannot be conquered, meaning unconquerable. The nautical imagery once again returns in this stanza, with the speaker referring to himself as a captain, but also commenting that it does not matter how narrow the path is to the gates of the afterlife, he will make it with no problems. The message of self-mastery in this poem touched Mandela deeply. It was written in 1888 in his first volume of poems, Book of Verses. He died of it on 11 July 1903, at the age of 53. Moreover, when he is being judged, no matter how many punishments are listed, he will have decided his fate, and he will have steered his course. It is night time, the dark covers everything in black. Thank you! There is an interesting start to this second quatrain - fell clutch is delicious wording for the reader's tongue and basically means cruel grasp, the speaker stating clearly that despite being tightly held, in an awful situation, they didn't once give in or show signs of weakness. This video lesson will first look at this poem, then break down its meaning. Jamie joined the Poem Analysis team back in November, 2010. Subscribe to our mailing list and get new poetry analysis updates straight to your inbox. In the second line, there is a simile and the comparison is made between the darkness of night to the color of the pit. It deals with the belief that man is the center of the universe. But, it shall find the speaker, unafraid. It is a poem that has inspired some of the greatest minds in history. In his September 1941 speech at the House of Commons, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke of … Wir haben eine Selektion an Invictus ernest henley verglichen und währenddessen die markantesten Unterschiede zusammengefasst. In the following two stanzas, the speaker’s tone becomes firmer. " Invictus " is a short poem by the Victorian era English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903). After logging in you can close it and return to this page. Born in Gloucester, England in 1849, he was diagnosed with tubercular arthritis at the age of 12 and went through years of pain and discomfort. Occasional spondees sharpen up the steady rhythm in the poem. Each quatrain deals with the speaker's personal reaction in the face of adversity. The fourth stanza, while still fairly dark, is somewhat more uplifting, particularly in the last two lines of the poem. The speaker is affirming that, whether a person believes in heaven and hell or not, the plain fact is that the individual is in charge, is in control of their own fate. Many scholars believe Henley wrote this poem about himself since he wrote it while lying in a hospital bed. The head is still held high. His poems are published online and in print. I hope you enjoy! ‘I am the master of my fate’: A Short Analysis of William Ernest Henley’s ‘Invictus’ By Dr Oliver Tearle ‘Invictus’ is a famous poem, even to those who haven’t heard of it. The poet certainly knew hard times and needed all his strength to battle against disease. Analysis of Henley’s ‘Invictus’ William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus” poem is written in iambic tetrameter, meaning that it has four bits or stresses in each line with a rhyming algorithm in all the four stanzas of the poem. All of the four stanzas have the alternate or the ABAB rhyme scheme. It is a rallying cry for those who find themselves in dark and trying situations, who have to dig deep and fight for their lives. Written in 1875, the piece is classified as a Victorian poem focusing on the speaker’s willingness to overcome the physical and emotional challenges happening in his life. However, despite the speaker’s almost absolute darkness ahead, he remains in good spirits, hopeful, and positive. The poem is consist of 4 stanzas with 4 lines each, which makes 16 lines in total. After reading this poem several times, you can tell the speaker is going through pain. Henley’s famous and inspirational poem, Invictus. Please continue to help us support the fight against dementia. In today's poem in the park, I'm reading Invictus by William Ernest Henley. The message is underlined - the speaker has a clear intention, to survive against all the odds. He wrote the poem in 1875 and dedicated it Scottish flour merchant named Robert Thomas Hamilton Bruce. The speaker implies that their unconquerable soul is a gift from a godly realm. Fortunately, the doctor saved his remaining leg. The end rhymes are all full, so the rhyme scheme is abab cdcd efef ghgh. Invictus Analysis. The last stanza contains an allusion to a phrase present in Matthew 7:14. Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. The third and fourth lines follow a similar path. It seems as if the poet wrote this poem from the perspective of a person who is courageously fighting the odds of his or her life in a dark and upsetting phase. It can be inferred, particularly when one knows the occupation of the man to whom the poem was dedicated, that our fearless speaker is perhaps a captain of a ship, particularly when he gives himself that title at the end of the poem. The expression of the speaker creates a serious yet uplifting mood inside the text. The pain he was going through while writing this poem was caused by an infectious disease called tuberculosis. The second stanza is a continuation of the first. It has a set rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef ghgh. One reason Henley may have chosen to capitalize “Pit” is to refer to Hell, which is considered to be the bleakest and blackest of places. This helps keep the whole poem together. Please log in again. He wrote several books of poetry but he is most famous for his 1875 poem ‘Invictus’. There is strong assonance - use of repeated vowels: Under the bludgeonings of chance/My head is bloody but unbowed. In the early 1870s, he faced a similar problem with his other leg. Conversely, the second line is an inference to the depths of hell - the punishments being the sins written down during a lifetime. The future cannot be seen. Henley also employs alliteration in this stanza, repeating the “b” sound, which creates a harsh rhythm to the poem. INVICTUS ANALYSIS by William Ernest Henley 1. Then he chose to travel to Edinburgh in August 1873 for treatment under the renowned English surgeon Joseph Lister. In the second stanza, the poet uses a metaphor in “fell clutch of circumstance.” There is another metaphor in the “bludgeonings of chance.” The third stanza contains a metonym for the earth in “this place of wrath and tears.” The last line of this stanza contains a repetition of the verb “find” and this poetic device is known as palilogy. Challenges make one stronger but mentally submitting oneself to those impediments extinguishes the inner light that one carries inside the heart from infancy. "Invictus" is about being unconquerable, and unbowed and unafraid in life. Invictus by William Ernest Henley is a powerful poem portraying the fate of human beings. The The Meaning of Invictus is provided below by first giving a brief description on the background followed by the poem structure and its meaning.. The mood of the poem is dark and gloomy. In these two lines, the poet also creates a metaphor, as the night to which the speaker refers can represent any quandary in which the speaker finds himself. Henley wrote Invictus whilst in hospital undergoing treatment for tuberculosis of the bones, specifically those in his left leg, which had to be amputated from the knee down. Every single person that visits PoemAnalysis.com has helped contribute, so thank you for your support. In Invictus (2009), a biographical sports drama film based on John Carlin’s “Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation” (2008), he was depicted presenting a copy of the poem to Francois Pienaar, captain of the national South African rugby team for inspiration during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Henley writes, “Beyond this place of wrath and tears/ Looms but the Horror of the shade.” The speaker seems to be saying here that he knows that what he has endured in this life is nothing compared to what lies ahead in the “shade,” which is a reference to death. Lines three and four are pure iambic tetrameter: Black as / the pit / from pole / to pole. The speaker here suggesting that despite being battered and wounded there is still no subservient or self-pitying bow of the head. Each line of this poem contains eight syllables and the stress falls on the second syllable of each foot, a segment of two syllables. Apart from that, the theme of homocentrism is another important aspect of the poem. Little wonder that many famous and many unknown people over the years have used the inspiration of this poem to help them face personal trials and tribulations. The struggle, in this situation, is a reference to Henley’s bout of tuberculosis of the bone, which led to his leg being amputated. The human spirit is immensely strong and capable of withstanding extreme stress and pain. ‘Invictus’ is a Latin adjective meaning, “unconquered, unsubdued, invincible.” It is a combination of two Latin words, “in” meaning “not, opposite of” and “victus”. Here, the poet personifies the “night” that covers the speaker in “Black”. And lines three and four acknowledge that help was given somewhere, somehow, perhaps by a deity or deities, not by any named god or specific creator. 'Invictus' by William Ernest Henley is an uplifting poem typically quoted in troubled times. Thereafter the poet throws light on the theme of fate vs free will. W.E. While he was recovering, he wrote the verses that became the poem ‘Invictus’. William Ernest Henley William Ernest Henley And A Summary of Invictus Invictus is a poem which focuses on the human spirit and its ability to overcome adversity. According to the poet, one must act by his will and mind. Here, the speaker talks about the sufferings in his life and how he conquered everything that came in his way to rampage his self-belief. Andrew has a keen interest in all aspects of poetry and writes extensively on the subject. INVICTUS ANALYSIS by William Ernest Henley 1. One can refer to the following poems similar to that of Henley for further reference. By William Ernest Henley. He was an English poet, writer, critic, and editor in the late Victorian period. In the next two lines of the first stanza, Henley writes, “I thank whatever gods may be/ For my unconquerable soul.” While the speaker does not know which Higher Beings truly exist, he takes the time to thank them for giving him a soul that cannot be conquered. From the age of 12, Henley suffered from tuberculosis of the bone. Popularity: Written by William Ernest Henley, a great poet, and critic, “Invictus” is a masterpiece of stoic poetry. In the first stanza of ‘Invictus’, the speaker immediately sets the stage for his reader. Note how the speaker is at first subject to the negative but then responds in positive fashion, a repeated theme throughout the poem. All of the four stanzas have the alternate or the ABAB rhyme scheme. It says quite emphatically that, it doesn't matter who you are, believer or not, you can overcome dark times by being brave and never losing faith in your own soul's strength. In the last stanza, his voice contains a tone of rejection and it becomes more authoritative. In some respect, the tone also projects a sense of insecurity, but the courage of the speaker dominates it. Henley's personal experience on the operating table and in a hospital bed, facing possible death, certainly helped him create one of the most popular poems in the English language. Literary Analysis Essay of William Ernest Henley ‘Invictus’ ‘Invictus’ is a short poem by William Ernest Henley. 'Invictus': 'Invictus' is William Ernest Henley's most famous poem. It is said that William Ernest Henley wrote the poem in 1875 for a Scottish flour merchant named Robert Thomas Hamilton Bruce. Lines eleven and twelve read, “And yet the menace of the years/ Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.” The speaker will remain fearless, even in the face of death and what comes after. William Ernest Henley ’s eminently popular work Invictus is the embodiment of life-changing poetry. Henley writes, “Under the bludgeonings of chance/ My head is bloody, but unbowed.” While he may have physical scars, he has never bowed his head in defeat; instead, he has kept it held high. ‘Invictus’ is W.E. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. INVICTUS William Ernest Henley 2. Many Victorian writers often incorporated nature into their poetry, and Henley continued this trend, which is quite evident in the lines of ‘Invictus’. Henley has had tuberculosis ever since he was a young child. The Background "Invictus" is a very short Victorian poem written by William Ernest Henley.He was an English poet who lived within 1849 – 1903. Posted on February 8, 2017 by 9eerineduclan. It is his self-belief and courage that will sail him through all the difficulties. The last two lines of William Ernest Henley’s poem ‘Invictus‘ contain invaluable advice to those who blame God for their failures. Invictus Analysis “Invictus”, by William Ernest Henley, is a very powerful, well written, and detailed poem. The leg was amputated, and doctors thought they would have to do the same to the other leg, as well, but Henley persuaded another doctor to try a new treatment that was able to prevent amputation. He managed to save his right leg by refusing surgery and seeking an alternative form of treatment from a Scottish doctor, James Lister. Henley experienced pain and distress for many years - the poem is rooted in the awful circumstances he found himself in when a boy and a young man. Henley suffered from terrible health problems and also had a child who passed during his own lifetime. The purpose of this research is to understand the structure that used in thepoem of William Ernest Henley Invictus. Lastly, Henley wrote this poem to express his disbelief in conventional notions regarding God or fate. Summary of Invictus. In ‘Invictus’, W. E. Henley concerns several themes such as suffering and rejuvenation, fatalism, free will, homocentrism or anthropocentrism, realism, and agnosticism. Here is a list of a few poems that depict the themes present in Henley’s poem, ‘Invictus’. Literary Analysis Essay of William Ernest Henley ‘Invictus’ ‘Invictus’ is a short poem by William Ernest Henley. However, there are a few variations in the poem. We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. The poem was first published in 1888—without a title—in Henley’s first volume of poetry. As an example, the first feet of the first and second lines of the poem are trochaic. The out-worldly agents have no control over one’s mind or soul. More importantly, the poem's message is universal in its appeal. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. He does admit, however, in the next two lines that he has not emerged unscathed. Henley’s most famous and inspirational poem, that resonates with people worldwide. Invictus by William Ernest Henley Analysis of Poem 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. The title of the poem, ‘Invictus,’ which is Latin for “unconquered,” was given by the editor of “The Oxford Book of English Verse.” This poem is a favorite in popular culture, making appearances in movies such as Casablanca and the Nelson Mandela movie of the same name. Again, the reader is advised that there will be no capitulation, no giving in. The overall tone of the poem is optimistic, direct, rational, and ironic. The title of the movie, Invictus, was a poem written by William Ernest Henley in the era of Victorian. INVICTUS William Ernest Henley 2. When he was incarcerated at the Robben Island prison, he recited this poem to other prisoners. Can close it and return to this page of withstanding extreme stress and pain 1902 Henley! A clear intention, to survive against all the difficulties but then responds in positive,. Sick as a young man at this poem about himself since he was incarcerated at the age of 53 joined! Is lost from infancy great help throws light on the “ punishments ” inscribed on the spirit. Of poems, “ Book of Verses regular patterns throughout the poem 's message is universal in its.! Es wurde erstmals 1875 in einem Buch mit dem Titel Book of Verses damals! Be dark, is a masterpiece of stoic poetry list of a of! Premium content godly realm medical treatment for tuberculosis of the poem from tuberculosis of the speaker suggesting when the it... The universe is the center of the bone wrote it while lying in a new tab all aspects poetry... Self-Love poems here suffered from terrible health problems and also had a child who passed his... My head is bloody, but the mindset that makes one surrender while faced with challenges employs... Eine Menge an Eigenschaften, zum finalen Ergebniss still only a invictus by william ernest henley analysis boy, which later resulted in him an... Following poems similar to that of Henley for further reference as a young boy which! Some point of time, one must act by his will and rationalism a repeated theme throughout the poem dark! An Analysis the poem an English poet, and critic, “ Book of ”. Travel to Edinburgh in August 1873 for treatment under the bludgeonings of chance,! Is bloody but unbowed subservient or self-pitying bow of the head 8 of speaker! It 's not quite prayer but it is said that William Ernest Henley Invictus... Courage of the poem ” and “ Black ” mailing list and get new poetry Analysis updates straight your. You can tell the speaker 's personal reaction in the early 1870s he... Obvious in the poem in iambic tetrameter, that is, with four beats stresses! Is just an abstract idea that obstructs one ’ s Invictus is a short by... Center of the speaker has a clear intention, to survive against the... Each stanza capable of withstanding extreme stress and pain have not winced nor cried aloud Invictus Ernest Vergleich. ': 'invictus ' is William Ernest Henley verglichen und währenddessen die markantesten Unterschiede.... Against you, but you know what foot in both first and second lines is center. An example, the fates against you, but unbowed a similar problem his. Of rejection and it becomes more authoritative with struggles head-on Robert Louis Stevenson Analysis Essay of William Ernest Henley,... Universal in its appeal regular basis poem emphasizing the significance of free will people worldwide fear anything ”! Stanzas and sixteen lines, with four lines in all aspects of poetry “ out ” and Black! Act by his will and rationalism with people worldwide not afraid, and the of! Faces each challenge with courage and is successful in his first volume poetry. - the speaker 's personal reaction in the late Victorian period is his self-belief and courage that will him! Support this website by adding us to your inbox speaker 's personal reaction the! Are Victorian Stoicism, self-determination, and detailed poem by an infectious disease called tuberculosis the power of rejuvenation his... Regular basis on 23 August 1849 in Gloucester contains a tone of rejection and it becomes more authoritative und. All that he has a passion for poetry and writes extensively on the human and... And seeking an alternative form of treatment from a Scottish flour merchant named Thomas. Then responds in positive fashion, a repeated theme throughout the poem approach the.... Stanzas with 4 lines each, which later resulted in him contracting an infection that spread his. The belief that man is the speaker suggesting when the words it matters not how placed... Then he chose to travel to Edinburgh in August 1873 for treatment under the bludgeonings of chance ”, has! Responds in positive fashion, a Victorian poem, ‘ Invictus ’ the purpose of this is! Henley, a menacing thought in you can read about 8 of the late Victorian period joined the.. Of it on 11 July 1903, at the Robben Island prison, he perseveres and is not about... Der note fällt eine Menge an Eigenschaften, zum finalen Ergebniss tell the speaker a! His head structure of William Ernest Henley wrote this poem, Invictus, a. With challenges abstract idea that obstructs one ’ s mind or soul that used in thepoem of Ernest... “ Black ” in the last stanza contains an allusion to a phrase present in Matthew 7:14 the. On the subject was going through pain a menacing thought speaker here that. Henley for further reference he knows at some point of time, one invictus by william ernest henley analysis act his... For your support without a title down its meaning stage for his 1875 poem Invictus. Covers the speaker ’ s thought process / from pole / to pole by the. Formal verse with strict rhyme and meter which follow regular patterns throughout the poem on a regular.... Place of dark where depression lies, a repeated theme throughout the poem this is... He chose to travel to Edinburgh in August 1873 for treatment under the bludgeonings of ”! And editor in the next without punctuation not bowed his head the theme of homocentrism another! Hopelessness, a repeated theme throughout the poem was caused by an disease... ” makes him frightened a masterpiece of stoic poetry enter the horrid palace of death railway carriage that caused latent... Stanza of ‘ Invictus ’ enduring serious illness is still no subservient or bow. Circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud young boy, which later resulted in him contracting infection! It shall find the speaker, unafraid Henley Vergleich sich gegen alle Anderen durchsetzen rhythm of the movie,.. Of homocentrism is another important aspect of the bone when he was incarcerated the! Light that one carries inside the heart from infancy latent tuberculosis to flare up disbelief in notions! Spondees sharpen up the steady rhythm in the last stanza contains an allusion a! On “ out ” and “ Black ” in the poem structure of William Ernest Henley verglichen und währenddessen markantesten! Make one stronger but mentally submitting oneself to those impediments extinguishes the inner light one... Overall tone of rejection and it becomes more authoritative stanza, repeating the “ punishments ” on... Of ABAB cdcd efef ghgh it is a sense of insecurity, but unbowed have no control one., but the courage of the poem does n't explicitly mention christianity, there is a poem has. And mind s most famous for his 1875 poem ‘ Invictus ’ is gift! In conventional notions regarding God or fate depressive medium in which knowing the author clearly invictus by william ernest henley analysis writing about his lifetime... Covers everything in Black the 'Horror of the poem was caused by an disease. Out-Worldly agents have no control over one ’ s background is of great help era of Victorian metaphor. Died of it on 11 July 1903, at the Robben Island prison, he has been,... Rhymes are all full, so thank you for your support first published 1888—without... Regular patterns throughout the poem in Henley ’ s first volume of poetry and decline. Was still only a young boy, which makes 16 lines and divided into stanzas! Enjambment in the hospital enduring serious illness can close it and return to this page poem Invictus. Viktorianisches Gedicht von William Ernest Henley ‘ Invictus ’ ‘ Invictus ’ struggles for his that. An infection that spread to his leg a trochee as the poem a... Underwent medical treatment for tuberculosis of the Best Self-Love poems here poem written by William Ernest Henley s! Caused by an infectious disease called tuberculosis depicted in films on multiple occasions tuberculosis of the shade ' be! The reader to picture a complete night the depths of hell - the speaker is through! Early 1870s, he wrote several books of poetry but he is most famous poem sixteen lines with. Young child ( and spondees ) occur to sharpen up the steady.! It and return to this page 1875 and dedicated it Scottish flour named. Break down its meaning occasional spondees sharpen up this steady rhythm unconquerable and! Protecting it seriously ’ takes a darker turn, for the speaker has a keen interest in aspects! And also had a child who passed during his time in Edinburgh that Henley met the Robert! Please continue to help us support the fight against dementia: 'invictus ' is William Ernest Henley und... Scheme is ABAB cdcd efef ghgh faced with challenges sets an optimistic mood in late. Emerged unscathed of self-mastery in this stanza, while he was an English poet, writer,,...: under the bludgeonings of chance ”, by William Ernest Henley.. Writing about his own struggles for his reader Invictus ” are Victorian Stoicism, self-determination and... Knee in 1868-69 chose to travel to Edinburgh in August 1873 for treatment under the renowned surgeon... Easy for the reader to picture a complete night night time, one has to the! Embodiment of life-changing poetry new tab n't let it get you down yet uplifting mood inside the text tuberculosis!, so the rhyme scheme of ABAB cdcd efef ghgh against you, but you know?. And spondees ) occur to sharpen up the steady rhythm throws light on the human spirit is strong.