Does "The Eagle" portray eagles as a symbol of power?

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"The Eagle" indeed portrays eagles as a symbol of power. The eagle is presented as a commanding figure with the power of choice and the ability to destroy. It is described as watching the world from its lofty position, suggesting a power of choice and control. The poem's comparison of the eagle to a thunderbolt, a traditional emblem of power, further emphasizes its power and superiority. Additionally, the eagle is presented as a symbol of nature's power, hinting at the enduring and far-reaching influence of the natural world.

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The eagle is the active figure in the poem and seems to possess the power of choice in addition to an implied power to destroy. In these ways, the eagle may be said to be presented as a symbol of power in the poem. 

The second stanza depicts the eagle as "He watches from his mountain walls." This vantage point is suggestive of a power of choice. The eagle can remain removed or distanced from the world that he watches. He is literally above it and figuratively above it too, to some extent. 

In commanding the view, as it were, the eagle can be described as a commanding figure. 

Also, since power is relative, we can note that there is nothing and no one else in the landscape that might influence or dictate the eagle's behavior. The eagle is a figure of self-possession and independence, alone to make its choices for itself. Power over one's self is one aspect of command, control and power. 

The eagle is also described as being "like a thunderbolt" when he falls. This image aligns the eagle with nature but also with a traditional emblem of power. Zeus, the Greek god, was known to use thunderbolts as a weapon. The subtle correlation in the poem aligning the eagle with this chief Greek god also connects the eagle to the idea of power and superiority. 

As a god, Zeus was unmovable. He was the chief power in the Greek world. If the eagle is somehow affiliated with Zeus, the eagle is also then affiliated with notions of power. 

By associating the eagle with nature, the poem also suggests that the eagle may be a symbol of nature's power. As a symbol of nature, the eagle is not just a powerful figure in itself but becomes a representative of the enduring and far-reaching power of the natural world. 

"...this association makes the eagle seem, like the sun, more powerful than anything of this earth" (eNotes). 

While reading the eagle as a symbol of power in these ways is certainly a defensible way to interpret the poem's meaning, others have suggested that the poem deals instead with age, aging and human death. The details of wrinkles and crags and a final fall are used to support such a reading.

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"The Eagle" by Alfred Lord Tennyson is described as a natural poem that shows the eagle as a symbol of power. How can I discuss this?

In the first stanza of this poem, the eagle is personified as a king. He does not have claws, but hands, so we're to see him as a symbol of a person. He lives "close to the sun in lonely lands"; his closeness to the sun associates him with its power and dominion over the world. The "lonely lands" show him as a lonely figure, as kings are (responsibility and leadership are lonely jobs). He is "ring'd with the azure world," showing him again alone under the canopy of heaven. But...he stands. Standing is a posture of power. Compare this to the next line--the first line of the second stanza--in which "the wrinkled sea beneath him crawls." He "stands"--he has dominion--but the sea "crawls," a personification of the sea which likens it to lowly people at the feet of a king. "He watches from his mountain walls" like a king from a castle; castles were almost always built upon a hill or mountain to create additional natural defenses against attack and greater surveillance abilities. Finally, "like a thunderbolt, he falls" likens the eagle to another unstoppable force of nature: lightning. Eagles dive at speeds upwards of 150 mph to catch their prey; this simile means the eagle is fast and deadly on the attack. 

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