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The Eagle Essay, Research Paper

“The Eagle”

Alfred Lord Tennyson uses one of the most dignified animals to convey his views on superiority to the reader in his poem “The Eagle”. The eagle is placed so far above every other creature on the earth, that he actually serves as a towered observer to the world below him. Tennyson seems to imply that although it is great to be supreme and untouchable, it is also very lonely at the top.

The poem consists of two stanzas, which are made of three lines, each having an eight-syllable meter. The rhyming last words, paired with the meter, help create a quick and succinct rhythm.

The visual imagery in this poem is used to show how similar the eagle is to a towered observer. The eagle, with extent vision, lives a lonely life always watching what is going on below him, but never daring to leave his exalted position, “close to the sun”, to participate.

Tennyson uses the rare eagle to symbolize the aristocracy in society during this very tumultuous time. The Victorian period is know for the arrogance and isolation of the upper class, which is the exact same attitude the eagle portrays.


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