The Eagle - Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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A compilation and some original material - The Eagle made simple.

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The Eagle - Alfred, Lord Tennyson

  1. 1. THE EAGLE BY LORD ALFRED TENNYSON
  2. 2. Text of poem taken from poetry foundation.org • He clasps the crag with crooked hands; • Close to the sun in lonely lands, • Ring'd with the azure world, he stands. • The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; • He watches from his mountain walls, • And like a thunderbolt he falls. •
  3. 3. About the author from Wikipedia • Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) wasPoet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets.[2] • Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as "Break, Break, Break", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Tears, Idle Tears" and "Crossing the Bar". Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses, although In Memoriam A.H.H.was written to commemorate his best friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and fellow student at Trinity College, Cambridge, who was engaged to Tennyson's sister, but died from a brain haemorrhage before they could marry. Tennyson also wrote some notable blank verse including Idylls of the King, "Ulysses", and "Tithonus". During his career, Tennyson attempted drama, but his plays enjoyed little success.
  4. 4. The Context • The poem has personal and Christian/mythological or religious and political references. • The eagle could be Tennyson, or any proud person, or Christ or the devil or America or a warning to colonial Britain about the consequences of pride even , if looked at symbolically and allegorically. • But it is basically a nature poem, praising the eagle’s beauty and power.
  5. 5. Summary • The crag/outcrop of rock is sharp and jagged, but the eagle can hold on to it. His claws look like hands. The cliff is so high it looks closer to the sun than to the earth. Perched in such a high place, the eagle is surrounded by blue sky in a circle around his head. The sea also resembles an old man: it has wrinkles. The eagle is so high up that the waves look like small, crisscrossing lines moving slowly toward shore. This eagle does what eagles spend most of their time doing: looking around. Eagles have great eyes, and the craggy mountain cliff provides the perfect vantage point for seeing everything below. He is like a look out on a fortress. The eagle dove off the cliff so fast that he looked like a bolt of lightning. Maybe he spied something tasty to eat below, or maybe he just wanted to stretch his wings. Either way, he's too quick for our eyes to follow.
  6. 6. Summary (continued) • The eagle dove off the cliff so fast that he looked like a bolt of lightning. Maybe he spied something tasty to eat below, or maybe he just wanted to stretch his wings. Either way, he's too quick for our eyes to follow.
  7. 7. The theme. • What is the theme of ‘The Eagle' by Tennyson? • The theme of The Eagle by Alfred Tennyson is the perception of the eagle of his invulnerability. He can fly near the sun and higher than a mountain. I think it becomes obvious that the theme is no matter how high you seem to be , something or someone can still bring you down. It can also mean the inevitability of death that can strike like a lightning anytime.
  8. 8. Analysis • The Eagle is a poem of two stanzas with a rhyme scheme of a,a,a. By using alliteration (assonance and consonance) – “He clasps the crag with crooked hands”, metaphors – “the wrinkled sea”, personification – “crooked hands” and simile – “like a thunderbolt”, Lord Tennyson describes through imagery – “ringed,” “azure world,” - the eagle and its surroundings powerfully, making it not only a poem on beauty and nature but also turning the bird into a symbol for strength, power, pride and (the folly of) youthfulness.
  9. 9. Definitions and examples • Simile is to compare one thing with another. Example: The eagle is “like a thunderbolt.” • Metaphor is to say one thing is another. • Example: The sea is “wrinkled”, making it an old being.
  10. 10. More definitions etc… • Personification is to give animals, birds, trees or plants or things human qualities. • Examples: The eagle has “crooked hands” and the sea “crawls” like a baby. • © A.V. Koshy2013

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