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The Eagle

Background info and first line.

The eagle is quite a short poem, and in my opinion it has two very apparent themes in it, one of nature and the second one being of imagery.

The eagle in the animal kingdom is seen as a very superior animal, in indo- european countries the word eagle means older. Often we assosiate getting older with becoming more and more wiser and more dominating or powerful.

We can see that power in this poem from the second word in the first sentence: "clasps" this emphasises the power of the eagle. It makes it sound omnipotent.

In the first sentence the use of alliteration - on the c's :"clasps...crag...crooked" adds to the rough image of the portrayal of the eagle. It adds to the idea that the Eagle is incharge.

The use of the phrase "crooked hands" personifies the eagle to make it sound like an old man and this may be playing with the hidden meanings of the title "The Eagle".

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Second line

"close to the sun in lonely lands,"

This makes you feel sympathetic towards the Eagle as it make it seem far away and alone, this is an example of isolation language which is used in the poem. This could be to amplify the lonliness of the Eagle or too add to the idea of the eagle being unique and superior as this quote shows that he belongs to the sky above not the earth below, and so this may be a way of showing the Eagles' superiority.

"close to the sun" this creates a very magnificient image, the idea of the Eagle being unique is very apparent here. This is because it is impossible for humans to reach the sun, however, unlike humans the Eagle can and so this shows how it is superior.

The use of the alliteration on the "lonely lands," adds emphasis to the words and makes them stand out more.

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"ring'd with the azure world, he stands."

There is the idea of lonliness here, as "ring'd with the ..." suggests that he is surrounded by a vast emptiness.

"stands" He seems to be waiting. This could add to the beauty of the Eagle as it shows it as being patient.

The eagle may be a representation of an old man. The use of earlier personification may support this idea... eg : "crooked hands."

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"The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;"

The use of wrinkled makes the sea seem old and it adds to this idea of aging as the poem gradually goes on.

"Crawls" The sea appears slow and tame from his perspective. This is an example of powerful language. The eagle is strong, fast and he is the king of everything he sees.

The use of the words both "wrinkled" and "crawls" could be seen as oxymorons, as wrinkles are usually assosiated with aging, where as the word "crawls" is assosiated with babies, as they are not fully balenced. This shows how the eagle may be confused.

Furthermore the eagle could be seen as superior once again, as he is seen as stable whereas, the sea is seen as unstable as it is old but yet it stills crawls. This adds satire to the poem.

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He watches from his mountain walls

This use of "his" makes the eagle sound empirical and very important. This adds to the idea of superiorty as it make the eagle sound like the owner of the Earth and so the eagle may be a representation of God.

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And like a thunderbolt he falls

There is a similie used here to once again make the eagle seem superior, "thunderbolt", thunder is a natural phenomenah and so this could once agin be talking about how natural the instincts of an eagle are.

"falls" this seems to a stark contrast to the end of the first sanza, where he "stands". This shows the two sides of the eagle, first waiting and now acting.

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