3.05 The Fireside Poets
1. What metaphors does Holmes use to describe the ship in stanzas one and two of "Old Ironsides"? Well in stanza one the metaphor he uses is “The meteor of the ocean air” and for stanza two he uses “The eagle of the sea” which the ship symbolizes the dignity and strength of the eagle which is the nation’s symbol.
2. In 1830, the 44-gun American warship Constitution, the inspiration for "Old Ironsides," was scheduled to be scrapped - that is, stripped of everything valuable or reasonable. What proposal is put forth by Holmes, in the last stanza of his poem? Well in my opinion I think that the ship should just go ahead and sink not only because if you scrap it, it will be ruined. But the ocean was the ship’s home and what would have been better? Scraping it or letting it end its life where it began. It would be only right.
3. What do you think Holmes wants the ship to symbolize? I think that Holmes wants the ship to symbolize the strength, the significance, and the pride of the nation that the ship represents. She fought for a really good cause that was holy and for justice.
4. The term, “Harpies," in line 15 of "Old Ironsides" is an allusion to predatory flying creatures in Greek mythology, which have bodies of vultures and heads of women. The name meant "snatchers" or "robbers." Why do you think that Holmes uses this allusion in his poem? Well the Harpies lured the sailors & ships to their death. In the scenario the harpies tear the ship and everything it represents from the sea.
5. In Longfellow's "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls," how does the title foreshadow the fact the traveler will not return? Well when you usually hear “The Tide Rises” it usually means that something major is going to happen or something positive. When you hear “The Tide Falls” it usually means that something bad is going to happen. So therefore that is pretty much how the title foreshadows the fact that the traveler will not...
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