• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Interpretation of Shadow, Silence and the Sea by A. C. Swinburne

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Interpretation of Shadow, Silence and the Sea by A. C. Swinburne From what we know about Swinburne's creativity, his poetry is a colourful mixture of philosophical statements, artistically painted images and ubiquitous alliteration. His principal theme in lyric is nature, which is used both as a material for the whole poem and as a detail to introduce other themes and images. Analyzing Shadow, Silence and the Sea, we first see the description of landscape. Swinburne is known to have been fascinated with landscapes, especially water scenes. The poet himself confesses of "a pure delight in the sense of the sea" (letter to Edwin Harrison on February 5, 1890). The fact, that the poem was written nearly a quarter of a century later after the actual voyage to Loch Torridon, suggests that the impression was still vivid in Swinburne's mind and seemed to correspond to his way of thinking. In addition, his choice of theme makes him a follower of the Romantic tradition. Image of sea and the peculiar devotion to night were crucial to the Romantic poets. ...read more.

Middle

Throughout the poem, many lines start with all, which combines all the elements of the picture into a never-ceasing unity. It is further underlined by the explicit parallelism and balance of the lines. Introducing the lyrical heroes as we also lends to this impression. It is a universal we, which may include the reader as well, and in the same time it makes the space of the poem closed and very private, so that here again comes a contrast of peaceful seclusion and extensive generality. The presence of juxtaposition in the poem is made obvious by repeated oxymorons (soundless music; shadow...with sense of light; the brief night long; silence... with sense of song; unheard, but... like sound; sea... as darkness and... as light). The simple rhymes of the poem also help to create a feeling of a never ending flow, making it sound like a song. Besides, the pair rhymes produce the impression of waves coming on shore: ? ??????? ? ????? ? ?????????? ???????, ????? ????? ???????? ????, ?????? ?????????? ?? ???, ? ?????? ...read more.

Conclusion

Other repeated sounds are th and t in through-thrilled-touch-throbbed, which builds an image of something living and moving. The dominating image here is the sea, which moves and produces sounds. It embodies the very pulse of life. Before it, we had mostly state verbs like be, watch and see, or no verbs at all, but now two verbs of sound appear, and this sound is dynamic and repetitive. The change from slumber to activeness also influences the syntactical structure of the verses. Earlier, the subject of every sentence was easy to notice, as it stood in the beginning of the line. However, the two last lines of the poem are in fact an anxious enumeration of attributes. Their succeeding one another at a rapid pace also helps to create the feeling of movement. It may seem strange, but the active sea does not disturb the silent night. On the contrary, the sea is shown as a part of it. On the whole, in Shadow, Silence and the Sea Swinburne uses visual an acoustic images to paint a marvelously done nightly landscape. He also infuses it with philosophical notions, which include hints on pantheism and show the nature as being universal and combining in itself incompatible notions. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Other Poets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Other Poets essays

  1. How is context shown in T.S. Eliot's Preludes

    - 'His soul stretched tight across the skies, That fade behind a city block, Or trampled by insistent feet.' 'His' can be interpreted as Jesus or God who is looking over mankind from the heavens; however 'he' is obscured by their buildings or forgotten by the crowd, hurriedly conducting their day-to-day business.

  2. (a) Prelude speaks of spiritually exhausted people who exist in the impersonal, tawdry modern city

    in sordid but the only different that they are ancient in Macbeth that they are experience to woman in the prelude she still young she can change her life style, if not she would just like them sinful life in young and searching for help and hope in old.

  1. The Waste Land opens with a reference to Chaucers Canterbury Tales. In this case, ...

    This encounter can be read as a quest for a meaning behind the tremendous slaughter of the first World War; however, it can also be read as an exercise in ultimate futility: as we see in Stetson's failure to respond to the speaker's inquiries, the dead offer few answers.

  2. In this essay, I shall analyse the work of Louis MacNeice, entitled, The sunlight ...

    Perhaps the poet, like other modernist writers, aspired to move away from the traditional epic layout and create a more modernised work as this was a fashionable movement in the early twentieth century. The poet Wordsworth, for example, experimented with new styles and verse forms to re-invent and modernise the lyric.

  1. Discord in Childhood, by the British poet D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930), is a poem ...

    Thus the word ?Whistling? (6) might almost be called an example of onomatopoeia, in which the sound of a word mimics the thing or action it describes. Likewise, the term ?delirious rage? uses alliteration to bind together two words than can almost seem contradictory (another kind of disorder), since the term ?delirious? is often associated with joy or happiness.

  2. Analysis of 'The Windhover' poem by Gerard Hopkins

    My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird. The achieve of, the mastery of the thing!? - Hopkins? natural imagery highlights the ?mastery? of the Windhover against the formidable opposition of nature. The ?mastery? against natural elements portrays the Windhover as being in total control, yet it could also mirror Hopkins? own inspiration and courage, in trying to

  1. Fatherhood. We start out by Thomass Do not go gentle into that good ...

    made a model of (him), a man in black with a Meinkampf look?. So, here she goes again falling for a ?black? ?vampire? who is like her old man. She strangely states that she?s killed her father and her husband, but we can safely assume that the killing that takes place is only in her mind.

  2. The Influence of Nature and Roethkes Father on His Poetry

    way I take, Out of what door do I go, Where and to whom? (Roethke 50). Another poem influenced by his father, ?My Papa?s Waltz?, is about a hard working father who has had a few drinks and is ?dancing? with his son.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work