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Analysis on "Eagle" by Lord Alfred Tennyson

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Analysis on "Eagle" by Lord Alfred Tennyson

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  • September 2012
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In the poem ‘The Eagle’ by Lord Alfred Tennyson the poet uses language effectively to explore the idea of man and his relationship to the natural world. The poet uses symbolism, imagery and metaphorical language to make the reader think about the eagle and what we can learn about ourselves when considering the freedom of this creature.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson employs the animal eagle into his poem to symbolize men with power and authority. In Line 1 he writes ‘He claps the crag with crooked hands’ the sentence focuses on the micro movements of an eagle as it grasps onto the cliff, and make use of alliteration in order to display the eagerness and fierceness of an eagle by applying strong, solid, hard accent words such as ‘clasp’, ‘crag’ and ‘crooked’. Behind this sentence it illustrates the power of an mighty man with its aggressive inner-self, where he has the ability to strive for what he wants. But on the other hand, it also symbolizes an old weary men, putting in all his effort in order to clench on what he truly treasures, in this case is companionship.

However in the next sentence, Line 2 ‘Close to the sun in lonely lands’ a juxtaposition is used to show how the eagle is elevated high above, near the sun but underneath it are dead lands. This symbolizes that the almighty, famous men often live lonely lives, even though they own authorities and admirations, deep within they are barren and isolated emotionally. With the symbol of an eagle in the poem, Alfred longs to convey the message that fame means nothing, but it will eventually tore men away from the reality world and away from true companionship.

An effective use of imagery is displayed through the detailed descriptions of the natural environment surrounding the eagle, which is crafted to the eagle’s personality of majesty and nobility. He first introduced the eagle by describing the rough mountain walls using strong solid words such as ‘clasps’, ‘crag’ and ‘crooked’. Together it created a...

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