An Analysis Of Hopkins's Poem Spring

Improved Essays
At first, Hopkins’s poem, “Spring,” is noticeably about the season of Spring. However, in considering Hopkins’s Catholic Christian background, I believe this poem is about beauty and the problem of sin in relation to the creation story in the book of Genesis about Adam and Eve. “Spring” is a Petrarchan sonnet split into an octet and sestet and is organized in such a way to allow Hopkins to discuss beauty and the problem of sin, accordingly. This problem of sin is identifiable in the sestet, which corrupts the theme of the beauty of Spring in the octet. I believe Hopkins uses these two themes to show that the problem of sin corrupts the beauty of nature but that Christ is victorious over sin. The octet discusses the beauty of Spring, which …show more content…
This definition is crucial in understanding the poem because the poem then takes another turn by referring to Jesus Christ and how He undoes ‘the Fall’ of Adam and Eve (where they ate of the forbidden fruit) by being nailed to a cross and crucified. Similar to how the beauty of Spring is temporal, the beauty in the Garden of Eden does so as well after the Fall by becoming “sour with sinning” (line 12). Furthermore, Hopkins refers to Christ’s crucifixion as being “worth the winning,” or a victory, which makes the Fall a defeat. This notion of Christ’s crucifixion as a victory is known in Christian theology. Catholicism celebrates paradoxes as a way to come to know truth, and this belief that Jesus’s death, an apparent defeat, would bring victory is one that Hopkins would be familiar with as a Jesuit Catholic priest. Hopkins also alludes to Christ in the beginning of the poem by showing lambs racing (line 8). In Christianity, Christ is referred to as the ‘lamb of God’ and this presence of lambs alludes to His presence in the world at the Incarnation where He became human. Furthermore, Jews slaughtered lambs as sacrifices to God in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament thus prefigures Jesus as the ‘lamb of God’ in that He is the sacrifice for the sins of Adam and Eve and of the entire world. Similar to how …show more content…
The love of sin focuses how sin is pleasurable, and the speaker is experiencing pleasure by experiencing the beauty of Spring. This experience of beauty prohibits the speaker at first from realizing that the beauty will not last, just as Christianity states that the love of sin blinds people to the truth. The Christian view of someone being in the state of sin is synonymous with their spiritual death, just as after sin enters the world through Adam and Eve, death becomes physically present in nature. Lastly, the results of sin in Christianity involve death and separation from God. However, with the Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christianity believes that sin and death are defeated. Considering these numerous allusions to Christianity, I believe Hopkins’s poem, “Spring,” is more than just a poem about the beauty of nature. Through analyzing it with a Christian perspective since Hopkins was a Jesuit Catholic priest, it is clear that these allusions and inferences of Hopkins describe how, to Christians, Jesus Christ is the victor over death and solution to the problem of

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Prudentius views sexual perversion as a critical and inherent sin of humanity, so it follows that only unnatural injury to the sexual organ can cure the innate problem. With this path to salvation, Prudentius shifts from characterizing God as a benevolent watcher to a harsh deity who demands physical sacrifice in exchange for holy grace. In locating the injury on the genitals, Prudentius displays a God who is willing to use underhanded tactics of “unequal combat” (75) in order to garner sacrifice from humanity. This characterization is linked to the wrathful God of the Old Testament. The conflict between Jacob and the Angel (Genesis 32) is almost immediately followed by the story of Shechem (Genesis 34), another tale of genital injury.…

    • 1131 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Analysis Of Chrysostom

    • 1552 Words
    • 7 Pages

    For the evangelist, the former should bear the responsibility of the devastation of Jerusalem. Both Jews and Gentiles are welcome to the kingdom of heaven and have the same responsibility to wear their own wedding garment. The replacement theory is indeed a deplorable misinterpretation. 4.2 The Interpretation of Chrysostom a) Interpretation Chrysostom, who may be the most influential ancient Greek preacher, had four insights into our parable. First, he believed that the parable is concerning the resurrection of Christ, for the son who had been killed by the wicked tenants is now alive and gets married.…

    • 1552 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Christ’s death on the cross is itself the atoning work of which the very heart is the overcoming of sin for “sin…is the obstacle which has to be removed and overcome in the reconciliation of the world with God as its conversion to Him” The priestly function of Christ’s death is the critical issue which cannot be replaced or ignored because it deals precisely with sin as “the source of the destruction which threatens” human being. “The sin and sins of man form the disruptive factor within creation which makes necessary the atonement, the new peace with God, the restoration of the covenant…

    • 1491 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In Confessions we see how was Augustine’s life in the religious development and how he eventually accepted Christianity. A sin is something bad that goes against the rules. It is said that as soon as you are born, you are already capable of sin. Agustine thought of this concept as a particular state of motivation. “Now I want to call to mind the foul deeds I committed, those sins of the flesh that corrupted my soul, not in order to love them, but to love you, my God” (pg.…

    • 193 Words
    • 1 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    And how deeply it affected the life of Saint Augustine by his lustful nature, involving the pear tree scandal. We know that Saint Augustine would not have been the same if he had not been directed by God to turn from sin. Dante was called to embark on a first hand experience with what Purgatory was like. We can conclude that Dante had a detrimental flavor of the after life. After reading these two titles I can now say that I broader perspective of what sin is, and the importance to rid these sins on earth, and become one with…

    • 1024 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    The Doctrine Of Atonement

    • 2113 Words
    • 9 Pages

    In John we once again are focused on Jesus being the light of the world that is set in darkness. John also shows that while there is guilt that needs to be paid that man could not possible pay on his own there also is life through the acceptance of the Spirit unto eternal life. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone,” John 12:24. All throughout John is the constant underlying theme of the atonement seen in John the Baptist’s speech, Jesus’ talk with Nicodemus, the representation of Jesus as the Lamb of God and the Shepherd of his sheep, etc. Next we also see the atonement in Paul’s epistles.…

    • 2113 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Although Dido has shown mercy on Aeneas, it has only left her miserable and heartbroken when he has to leave and continue his journey to found Rome. Moved by "amor," she motivates her passion to "furor" ultimately leading to her violent suicide. Luke 's assertion in Chapter 6 of his Gospel would have led to a much better outcome for Dido. He writes the words of Jesus, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.…

    • 1083 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This can be interpreted as the thirteenth angel or thirteenth demon. However, Judas ends up betraying Jesus; if Judas is an angel than this betrayal is because Jesus must be betrayed by man and suffer for the purpose of carrying out His divine necessity. Moreover, this is the most important theme found in the New Testament because it is a major theme for Christianity. Christianity is built on the idea of the messiah being rejected by man so that he can die for man’s sin. The theme of divine necessity is the paradox, suffering brings happiness.…

    • 1391 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Corruption In Dracula

    • 1879 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Stoker highlights the thematic struggle of human nature: between the inborn instincts of man’s intrinsic depravity and his self-fabricated grasp on extrinsic rectitude through the symbolism of religious allusions, evident in the novel’s parallels to the Garden of Eden, the correlation of vampiric blood and Christ’s blood, and the connection between the crucifix and wafer to Christ’s death on the cross and the Eucharistic bread, meant to represent the body of Christ. In combination, these parallels highlight that evil is not inferior to good, but rather, that man’s depraved evil is equally probable to prevail over man’s self-contrived righteousness as man’s self-contrived righteousness is equal in likelihood to prevail over man’s depraved…

    • 1879 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    These sacrifices were pointing the way to when Jesus would come and die on the cross and be the ultimate sacrifice to take the sin of the world away. The results of Jesus taking our sins away is found in Romans 6:20. We are free in Christ Jesus. There are three theories about how Jesus saved us. The Ransom theory says that Adam and Eve sold humanity to Satan when they sinned.…

    • 706 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays