Confidence and Courage in The Eagle by Alfred Lord Tennyson
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The poem, “The Eagle” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, gives the reader a sense of confidence and courage that is needed to succeed in life. The message that is delivered in the poem may lead the reader to believe that if you want something in life don’t be afraid to stand alone. The world is open all around you and if the opportunity presents itself: grasp whatever those dreams or goals may be before they disappear.
In the poem, “He clasps the crag with crooked hands” (lines 1). The poem seems to suggest that the eagle holds on to the "crag" as one would hold on to his or her hopes and dreams, with crooked hands, referencing the eagle’s talons. "Close to the sun in lonely lands/ringed with the azure world; he stands" (lines 2-3). The eagle sitting high on the "crag" sits by himself in a large world with confidence that he can accomplish anything no matter how small he is against the strong power and spirit of the sun in the azure world, endless blue skies around him.
Tennyson further writes, "The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls" (line 4). Like the eagle, what is seen before him from high above is the unpredictable ways of everyday life. The water keeps to be moving as everyday life does, at a creep, as if to be alive, slowly moving with its ups and downs. The poem goes on to say, "He watches from his mountain walls" (line 5). The eagle watches from a distance as if the mountain was his safe haven, to protect him from the dangers and allow him to assess his opportunities with more of an advantage of having the higher ground.
Alfred, in the last line of the poem, "And like a thunderbolt he falls" (line 6), maybe telling the reader that at that moment the eagle has spotted his prey/opportunity and like a thunderbolt falls from his safe haven to strike with lightening speed, confidence and power, like a person seizing life’s opportunity as if it is a once in a lifetime chance, never to get that one moment back if the eagle/person misses his mark.