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Alfred Lord Tennyson part B-C
Transcript of Alfred Lord Tennyson part B-C
Alfred Lord Tennyson Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea! Theme Form Mood Poetic Techniques Social Comment The main theme of this poem death. The theme of death is relating back to Alfred's friend Hallam who had died at a young age and how he will never get to spend time with his friend again. "But the tender grace of a day that is dead / Will never come back to me" These two lines explain that the time Alfred spent with his friend is like "a day that is dead" - a day that he will never get to experience again. Therefore, although Alfred never actually speaks of Hallam's death, his wanting to "touch" the "vanished hand" and to hear "the voice that is still" makes us assume that his friend is dead.
Another theme of this poem is time because Alfred seems to argue that time keeps progressing without change, in spite of his great loss. An example of this could be how he speaks about the fisherman's boy and his sister at play, and the sailor lad who sings in his boat on the bay because they are going on with their lives without a single worry. The form of this poem is lyric because it is relatively short, is in the voice of a single character whom is known as the speaker, incorporates a personal tone that communicates the speaker's private thoughts and feelings the reader and/or listener, and often focuses on a moment, mood or image. Alfred has done all this by telling a personal story of his grief of losing a close friend. The mood of Break, break, break is more of a negative mood than a positive mood. I see it as a negative mood because the way things are described and said sound dark and depressive for example in the last two lines of the third stanza where it says "But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,/ And the sound of a voice that is still!". Another example of how the mood is negative how the poem is based on Alfred's sadness caused by his friends death. A poetic technique used by Alfred is alliteration. This is used in line 8 "boat on the bay", line 10 "haven under the hill" and in line 15 "day that is dead. Personification and metaphor are used where Alfred regards the sea as being human. He also uses paradox in his poem "Touch of a vanished hand" in line 11, and "sound of a voice that is still" in line 12. By using these techniques, the poet gives a better insight into the emotions he is experiencing and the events that may have led to the creation of this poem. This poet has experienced the emotions in this poem because it is about a period in his life where he lost someone close to him and he also felt isolated in the place he was staying. Historical context The poem is an elegy that describes Alfred's feelings of loss after Arthur Hallam died and his feelings of isolation while at Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire. These are the reasons for why Alfred wrote this poem. And I would that my tongue could utterThe thoughts that arise in me. O, well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play! O, well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay! And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill; And the sound of a voice that is still! But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand, Break, break, break
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea! But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.