Metaphorical Use of Nature in the Poem, The Eagle by Tennyson

Tennyson, is a poet who belongs to the period of Victorian Era. However, he uses nature as a carriage to transport his metaphorical message to the reader utilizing some elements of nature itself. The reason behind the usage of nature might be the influence of Romanticism which evolved the literary movement of Victorian era. Nevertheless, Tennyson uses some natural aspects to contrast the power relationship between two symbolic parties.  

The poet metaphorically uses the powerful bird, eagle and its surroundings to convey the power flow and the nature of power. His description evokes the imaginative eye of the reader to picture a cinematic scenery where eagle region. It has made easy for the reader to contrast what actually lie beneath the lines. The natural elements are actually have been used to represent some personalities who possess similar characteristics.   

The eagle is itself a metaphor to a powerful solitary figure. It has been personified to indicate that it is actually about a person. The reader can draw parallel lines between the characteristics of the eagle and the person that is actually being referred to. His actions: ‘like a thunderbolt he falls’, ‘clasps the crag with crooked hands’ suggest the true nature of power which is apparently corrupted and lethal. The static verbs ‘stands’, ‘watches’ shows a picture of a powerful lord standing and examining upon the beholders with sharp eyes. The action and the appearance shown by the eagle are best suit for a powerful dictator with high command. 

The natural surrounding associated with the eagle metaphorically refers a territory or kingdom which belongs to a ruler. The words like: ‘mountain walls’, ‘lonely lands’, ‘ring’d …azure world’ suggest that the eagle lives in a solitary land surrounded by strong protections. the eagle’s posture ‘close to the sun’ is also an exaggerated elevation to show the high ground that it lives. Those usage of natural elements again helps the reader to contrast between what the poet metaphorically tries to bring forward. 

The use of the sea with the adjective ‘wrinkled’ is suggestive for something vast but still less powerful that the eagle. The gap created between the eagle and the see around its natural surrounding demonstrates the power gap between two parties. The eagle might see the waves of the sea as wrinkled that because of the height where it sits upon. This power relationship metaphorically suggests to a ruler and the ordinary mass who are ruled by the ruler. 

The careful usage of natural elements to refer something else is a proven success of Tennyson which has generated a vivid picture which is easy to draw parallels. Therefore, it can be enjoyed as a simple poem or if it is to be analyzed, there are a number of metaphorical depth to dig in.   

You may also like to read:  

Post a Comment