The Manhunt by Simon Armitage- In-depth Analysis

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  • Created by: Zahra R.
  • Created on: 23-05-12 09:46

In The Manhunt, Armitage takes typical blazon love poetry and turns it into a negative, perverse form of blazon poetry through a combination of metaphorical language and language from the semantic field of warfare. The persona speaks in third person which is unusual, and seems to be addressing the reader rather than the subject of the poem.

'After the first phase,

after passionate nights and intimate days,'

The 'first phase' seems to suggest that this 'Manhunt' of trying to find the man that the persona once knew was carried out in a series of phases and that the sexual intimacy in the rebuilding of their relationship was merely only the beginning. This is strange because usually a relationship begins with getting to know each other then having a sexual relationship, but in this poem it seems to be the other way around. As the 'first phase' compromised of 'passionate nights and intimate days'.

'only then would he let me trace

the frozen river that ran through his face,'

'only then' seems to suggest that this 'hunt' was carried out in small steps with the persona's partner's consent 'let me'. The 'frozen river' may be interpreted as scarring from his time in the war, or perhaps even tear tracks to explain the emotional trauma he may be going through and the metaphor used 'frozen river that ran through his face' gives imagery of landscapes, bumpy terrain.

'only then would he let me explore

the blown hinge of his lower jaw,'

Again, the repetition of 'only then would he let me' seems to suggest that the persona is not forcing her way through, but allowing her partner to slowly open up and 'let me'. The verb 'explore' seems very thorough, the persona doesn't want to miss anything. Armitage uses a strong adjective 'blown' to describe the persona's partner's jaw. The 'blown hinge of his lower jaw' seems to be used by Armitage in a figurative way, perhaps showing the 'man's' inability to express his emotions, or perhaps his refusal to speak about them, maybe he wants to lock his feelings away, to forget. Also 'hinge' brings up imagery of doors so if a door has a 'blown hinge' then it would be impossible to open.

'and handle and hold

The damaged, porcelain collar-bone,'

The verbs 'handle and hold' seem to be very gentle, this is due to the alliteration of the soft 'h' sound. The persona gently 'handles and holds' her partner's collar-bone. The metaphorical language of the persona's 'porcelain collar-bone' by Armitage is effective in conveying the persona's care with her partner as 'porcelain' is very delicate and easily 'damaged'. Take notice here that in the first three stanzas, 'phase' and 'days', 'trace' and 'face', 'explore' and 'jaw' Armitage uses rhyming couplets however in this stanza Armitage begins to slowly split off into half rhyme as the persona moves from surface injuries to deeper injuries as the 'collar bone' is inside and cannot be explored from a skin-deep relationship.

'and mind



the ideas are taken from mr bruff on Youtube

Zahra R.

they arent :O i dont know him... i did it myself

Chloe **

this is SO helpful thank you so much! 


Thankyou  very much, this is helping me do the exam!


saved to favourites - thanks for the help :D


Thank you!!


Thank you, it really helps! x


where you are talking about the broken ribs the rhyme scheme could have completely broken like the man .... this also helped me a lot thank you


so well explained,especially 'the parachute silk' quote, thanks sooo much




Danke ich habe  kommentieren dieses Gedicht abgeschlossen ^.^


This is great!

Amazingly written with a formal and almost professional edge to it!

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