The Eagle
The Eagle
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

The Eagle Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

Rhyming Triplets in IambicTennyson and other Victorian poets like Robert Browning used more traditional, regular forms that the Romantic poets who came before them. The Victorian Age is often thoug...

Speaker

The speaker could be the narrator of a nature documentary. He watches the eagle from a very great distance but can see details that we wouldn't expect, like the bird's crooked hands. He's like Davi...

Setting

A sunny day on a tall seaside cliff near the Pyrenees Mountains in Southern France. There's not a cloud in sight, and the amazing deep blue of the sky seems to find a reflection in the water below....

Sound Check

This poem evokes the solitude and charged suspense of a high mountain pass or a rocky cliff. Its six lines are full of echoes, like standing in a canyon and shouting: "HELLO! Hello! hello! Hello!"I...

What's Up With the Title?

The title informs us that the poem is describing an eagle. Otherwise, how would we know? As an interesting exercise, try showing the poem, without its title, to someone you know who hasn't read it....

Calling Card

Traditional Rhythm as an Expression of Nobility"The Eagle" has a formal-sounding rhythm that seems to announce, with a flourish of trumpets: "This...is poetry!" The meter, weighted with the traditi...

Tough-O-Meter

(2) Sea LevelFortunately, this poem isn't nearly as high up the Mountain of Toughness as the eagle is up its own craggy mountain. "The Eagle" is the perfect poem to begin an exploration of poetry....

Brain Snacks

Tennyson took his first trip to the Pyrenees region with his best friend Arthur Henry Hallam. Hallam's death, years later, spurred Tennyson to write one of the most famous poems of the Victorian pe...

Sex Rating

GThe eagle in this poem is not really a sex symbol, but rather a symbol of rugged, solitary masculinity. The phrases "crooked hands" and "wrinkled sea" squash any outside chance there might be to g...

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