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Apostrophe to the Ocean

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Chelsea Tang

on 10 June 2014

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Transcript of Apostrophe to the Ocean

Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin-his control
Stops with the shore; upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own,
Early Life
-Born in London, England into a rich aristocratic family
-Father: English Sea Captain, "Mad Jack" Byron
Mother: Catharine Goron of Gight, Scottish Noble
-Father died at 3 years old. He and his mother moved to Aberdeen, Scotland
-Grew up in a strict religious (Scottish Presbyterianism) environment. He and his mother commonly fought.
-Had a physical defect called "Clubfoot" and was forced to wear a corrective shoe. Caused him to be very self conscious, which lead to psychological effects.
-Great uncle died and he inherited title of 6th Lord Byron and heir to ancestral estate: Newstead Abbey at the age of 10 years old
-Attended Harrow and then Cambridge University

George Gordon, Lord Byron
Spenserian Stanza
-Nine lines per Stanza
First 8 lines in Iambic Pentameter,
Last line is Iambic Hexameter: six iambic feet
-Rhyme: A B A B B C B C C
The Rest of his Life...
-Extravagant lifestyle. Spending the money he inherited on clothes and decorations for his dorm.
-Started writing poetry in Cambridge
-1807: Hours of Idleness --> Lyrical poems
: English Bards and Scotch Reviewers
-1809 Graduated from Cambridge and began his travels!
-1812: "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage", poetic travelogue
Romantic verse narratives about foreign scenes and customs
-1815: Marries Annabella Milbanke, but they divorce one year after because of his regular affairs and fights.
-April 25, 2816: Leaves England, never to return
1) Geneva, Switzerland 2) Venice, Italy
3) Pisa, Italy
-Fought for Greek Independence from Turkey
-Training in Missolongihi, came down with a severe fever
-Died April 19th, 1824 at the age of 36

George Gordon, Lord Byron
Apostrophe to the Ocean
1) "There is society, where none intrudes,/By the deep sea, and music in its roar;/I love not man the less, but nature more," (Line 3-5)

2) "Man marks the earth with ruin-his control/ Stops with the shore-" (line 12-13)
"When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,/He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan-/without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown" (line 16-18)

3) "Time writes no wrinkle on thine azue brow;/Such as creation's dawn behled, thou rollest now." (line 44-45)

4) "Thou glorious mirror, where the Almight's form/ Glasses itself in tempest; in all time,..." (line 46-47)

5) "And I have loved thee, Ocean!...and my joy/ Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be/Borne " (Line 55-57)

Important Quotations
Poetic Devices
- From "Childe Harolds Pilgrimage"
- Stanza 178-284 of Canto IV
-Progressive published as he travelled
-Canto I and II in 1812
-Canto III in 1816
-The rest in 1818
- Inspired when he was in Mount Alban, near Rome. He looked out into the Mediterranean Sea.
: "Figure of speech directly addressing an absent person, inanimate object, or abstract quality"
Apostrophe to the Ocean
Poetic Devices

Beauty of being connected to untouched nature

Power (of the ocean)
The Ninth Wave- 1850
Ivan Aivazovsky: Russian marine painter

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
• The use of repetition establishes the grandeur of nature and then connects us to nature through a move form “pathless woods” to society.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean-roll!
• Imagery and assonance combined mimic the movement/sound of waves undulating onto the shore
• The command form with of this sentence allow with the exclamation at the end suggests that the writer is emotionally enraptured by the ocean, (wishes control over it?)
• Hyperboles exaggerate the effect and strength of war and weapons of war; therefore if these all “melt” into the waves of the ocean, the ocean must be the most invincible force.
Therefore creating the theme Men’s weapons are toys to the ocean because it can easily destroy them.
"quake"(29) "Leviathans"(31) "arbiter of war-"(33)
"Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee-
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they?" (37-38)
• The allusion to past empires highlights the resilience of the ocean and its ability to endure much longer than anything made by man
"Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form" (46) & "the throne Of the Invisible;" (51-52)

• Allusion to God establishes a reverence for the Ocean as a reflection of God’s power, (the throne…) the imagery of the ocean as “throne of the Invisible” connects to Gods ability to grant life and also punishment
"'twas a pleasing fear," (60)
• Oxymoron, he trusted so much into something that could hurt him, the ocean is so strong
• In lines 12-15, they discuss man as a destructive force to the natural world and Byron reflects this through his use of caesura (pauses) and enjambment (run-on lines) that distort the traditional flow of lines.

The apostrophe to the ocean displays love for nature throughout the entire poem. The very first stanza is about how there is beauty in nature that has not been corrupted by man and how much he enjoys this. He makes the ocean sound like such a magnificent and powerful being and uses emotion and imagination to bring a body of water to life. He imagines the shores of the ocean being empires and brings imagery such as “oak leviathans” (31) that make the ocean seem so fantastical and enticing. He refers to the being near the ocean as a young boy near the end of the poem so the readers a lost get a sense of nostalgia Again, he mentions far off empires such as Greece, Rome and Carthage which is an example of exotic places. The entirety of the ocean is mysterious and he almost makes it feel as though the ocean is supernatural because of it’s mystery and epic powers.
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