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In the poem Thistles by Ted Hughes there are a number of different themes and ideas that are put across George Macbeth the acclaimed literary critic has made some very powerful and in-depth comments about the poem He states that the poem ispraise to the unkillable virtue of heroism I personally am not sure whether to disagree or agree with this analogy However I do agree with later comments about Hughes presenting this quality through the nature of part of a vegetable rather than the animal kingdom he contrives to give it an air of naturalness and inevitability as if heroism like the flowers in spring is something that must go on forever I am sitting on the fence of indecision with Macbeth on his praise to the unkillable virtue of heroism Mainly because I do not believe that what the Thistle is doing in the poem has anything at all to do with heroism The Thistle is doing what it has to do to protect its homeland from the invading Norseman With reference to other Scottish legends such as William Wallace I can say that bravery is shown not by those who aim to be brave but by those who believe in a cause and are willing to give everything they possess in the face of almost insurmountable odds to achieve their cause William Wallace stepped up for Scotland where no one else would and he had the courage to do this That is heroism In some ways this poem is about the praise to the unkillable virtue of heroism but the Thistle is not being brave in what it has to do The Thistle is merely acting by instinct It would draw plumes of blood from anyone who decides to touch it whether they are friend of foe The Thistle is literally striking out at everyone with a revengeful burst Heroism is not a virtue by normal standards and while I
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