The Eagle
The Eagle
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Speaker Point of View

Who is the speaker, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?

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 David Attenborough, the famous British environmentalist who has narrated a bazillion nature documentaries, including Blue Planet and Planet Earth. (If you haven't seen either of these shows – RUN to your library to go check them out. That is, after you've finished reading about Tennyson.) He even has that distinctive British quality to his voice – at least when we imagine how the poem should be read. He tends to go for odd or over-the-top descriptions and loves to use dramatic-sounding words like "ring'd" and "wrinkled." Also, just like the narrator of a documentary (heck, just like David Attenborough), he has mastered the art of the dramatic pause. "RING'd with the azure world...he stands." "And like a THUNDERbolt…he falls." We wouldn't be surprised to learn that our dear Mr. Attenborough had read a lot of Tennyson in his day. After all, Tennyson is still a bigger deal in Great Britain than in America.

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