The Eagle Questions and Answers
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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Please explain the poem "The Eagle" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

In "The Eagle," Tennyson uses literary devices including personification, allusion, and hyperbole to present a dramatic picture of an eagle plummeting to the sea from a high crag.

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The critical consensus is that the eponymous eagle represents the figure of Arthur Henry Hallam, a young English poet and close friend of Tennyson. Hallam died young, and his untimely death devastated Tennyson, causing him no end of grief for the remainder of his long life. Tennyson wrote about his friend extensively in his long poem "In Memoriam A.H.H". But he also wrote about him in "The Eagle", a very short, six-line poem, whose brevity perfectly mirrors the short length of time that Hallam spent upon this earth.

In the poem, the speaker recounts the flight of an eagle as he swoops down from the fastness of his mountain-top crag to the "wrinkled sea" beneath him. A number of literary critics and scholars have interpreted this as an allegory on Hallam's short life. Having reached the heights of poetic achievement—as represented by the crag close to the sun—he then swooped down to the "wrinkled sea" of death.

Throughout his short life, Hallam had soared high like an eagle. But now the...

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