Invictus

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Invictus

  1. 1. InvictusWilliam Ernest Henley
  2. 2. William Ernest Henley• August 23, 1849 – July 11, 1903• Born in Gloucester, England• Suffered from tuberculosis of the bone as a boy• Went to the hospital in 1874 for a tubercular infection in his bones• At 25 he had to have his left leg amputated and was told he would lose his right leg also• Recruited Dr. Joseph Lister, father of antiseptic medicine, to save it• He spent 20 months in the hospital and wrote poems about his experiences there
  3. 3. Henley• In 1875 wrote “Invictus” but it was not published until 1892• 1877 – began his editorial career in London and published a few poems mainly in the journals he edited• 1887 – his poems were included in a popular series “Canterbury Poets” and this brought him recognition• 1888 – first poetry book A Book of Verses was published• He is believed to be the inspiration for the pegged- legged pirate in Treasure Island by his friend Robert Louis Stevenson
  4. 4. Invictus• Invictus – Latin for unconquerable• “night covers me” – night is symbolic for darkness, depression, death• “Black as the Pit” – the death pit is hell – can be hell on earth• “Pole to Pole” North – South Pole• “I thank whatever gods may be” – uncertainty of the existence of God – he trusts himself
  5. 5. Invictus• “fell clutch” – fell is to knock down• “clutch” – to grip – tighten – could be choked• “circumstance” – life• Life may challenging, choking him but he will not turn away in pain or cry out (give up)• “bludgeoning” – to beat or strike• “chance” – life, destiny• Although life is beating him and
  6. 6. Invictus• Although life is beating him – many trials – and his head is “bloody” – he is hurt• But his head is also “unbowed” – he is proud and will not give up• “horror of the shade” – darkness and death• “menace of the years” – the threat of death• He will face it “unafraid” – not afraid of death, of challenges
  7. 7. Invictus• “strait the gate” – refers to The Bible New Testament Mathew 7:14 “Strait is the gate and narrow the way that leads to eternal life”• The way is difficult and narrow• “scroll” – the law• “I am the captain of my fate” – reference to a ship – his life is the ship and he is the captain, he is in control of his life

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