What other devices, such as stanzas or punctuation, does Tennyson use in "The Eagle"? 

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Eagle" is a poem by Tennyson consisting of two three-line stanzas. The meter of the poem is iambic tetrameter. The rhyme scheme is AAA BBB. The punctuation follows the normal conventions of English grammar. The capitalization of the initial word of each line is also a standard convention in English verse.

The most obvious poetic device used in the poem is alliteration, or repetition of consonant sounds. The most dramatic instance of this occurs early, in the first two lines of the poem, with the repetition of the hard "c" sound in the sequence of words: "clasps ... crag ... crooked ... close." In the second line we encounter another example of alliteration in the words "lonely lands".

One interesting metrical feature of the poem is the initial trochaic substitutions in the second and third lines. The second line scans (stressed syllables in boldface):

Close to the sun in lonely lands

The third line of the first stanza also has an initial trochaic substitution:

Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

In traditional English prosody, initial trochaic substitutions are often seen as adding surprise or drama to a line.

The poem as a whole personifies the eagle, describing, for example, his claws as "crooked hands." The final line uses a simile in the phrase "like a thunderbolt he falls."