1. What is the implication of the title?
2. Why are such agents as "Crass Casualty" and "Doomsters" capitalized?
3. Why has Hardy chosen an agricultural metaphor to describe the extinguishing of romantic hopes in line 10?
4. Since "Hap" is technically a sonnet, comment upon Hardy's handling of this traditional form. Where, for example, is the volta? How does the octave address or resolve a problem raised in the octave?
5. The manuscript title, according to Wright, was "Chance." Theorize as to why Hardy changed it.
6. What is the ostensible cause of the speaker's depression?
7. Explain the various forces described in the poem that randomly rather than calculatedly control human destiny. Why, for example, are the "Doomsters" described as "purblind"?
8. J. O. Bailey has suggested that the poem is in part related to the Theory of Natural Selection which Charles Darwin proposed just a few years before the initial date of composition in Origin of Species (1858).
9. "The poems often seem so simple as to lack imagery, to be only a statement of mood or attitude, but as we penetrate their meanings, objects and actions acquire a metaphorical significance" remark Walter E. Houghton and G. Robert Stange, in Victorian Poetry and Poetics (Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Riverside Press, 1959), pp. 783-84. How might one apply this observation to "objects and actions" in this poem?
Last modified 29 July 2004