Comparative Poetry Essay –
The Eagle by Alfred Tenyson & Epitaph On a Hare by William Cowper
How does Tenyson describe the eagle?
In verse 1, line 1 he describes the eagle as being harsh, violent and rough by using alliteration in the words ‘clasps’, ‘crag’, and ‘crooked’. He uses onomatopoeia also in these words to get over the violentness of the bird and also its rough environment. When using the phrase ‘crooked hands’ Tenyson is describing how the shape of the claws are crooked but when he used the word ‘hands’ instead of claws this is implying the eagle has god like qualities.
The phrase ‘close to the sun’ has connotations of the bird being god-like (because some religions worship the sun like a god). The sun also has connotations of energy and strength implying the bird has these qualities. The phrase could also be saying that the bird flies high up, above everyone else, furthering the idea of the bird being god like.
The remainder of line 2 ‘in lonely lands’ gives the reader a feeling that the bird is a solitary creature, the only one, with no one above him in status.