Lord Ullin's Daughter

by Thomas Campbell

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What type of imagery is used in the poem "Lord Ullin's Daughter"?

Quick answer:

The type of imagery used in the poem includes the stormy seas across which the eloping daughter and her lover travel. This is an appropriate image, as it emphasizes the dangers in which the young lovers find themselves.

Expert Answers

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The most striking image in “Lord Ullin's Daughter” is that of the stormy seas across which the eponymous heroine and her lover escape from Lord Ullin and his men. Lord Ullin and his posse are in hot pursuit, desperate to catch up with the two young love-birds before they get too far away.

But it's not just Lord Ullin and his men who are desperate. His daughter and her lover are desperate to escape, trying to put as much distance between themselves and their pursuers as possible. This overwhelming sense of urgency is reflected in the imagery of the stormy seas, which indicates how much of a challenge it will be to escape from the clutches of the wrathful Lord Ullin.

Tragically, the stormy seas ultimately triumph in this particular battle, as Lord Ullin's daughter and her lover are drowned, their small boat sinking beneath the choppy waves. Further striking imagery is provided by the references to the “loud waves” as they lash against the shore and the “waters wild” that go over Lord Ullin's child. Lord Ullin's daughter and her lover may have been able to outrun the men sent after them, but sadly they are unable to defy the forces of nature.

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