Imagery and symbolism in The Wreck of the Deutschland

The richness of Hopkins' imagery

The whole of The Wreck of the Deutschland is full of images; one series of images after another, one layer upon another, so that it is impossible to do justice to its complexity in a few pages of notes. The following gives just a few pointers or signposts.

Hopkins' mind is the most poetic of minds. Despite a training in theology, his language always expresses itself in figures, symbols and allusions. Much of the imagery is figurative, mainly metaphorical; but other images are literal descriptions, forming vivid mental pictures in our imagination, such as the nun's cry or the dead seaman dangling at the end of his rope.

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