Posted at 10.13.2018
Grief is one of the most powerful emotions that a human being can experience. This is actually the predominant theme of the poem 'Break, Break, Chance' by Alfred Tennyson, written around 1834, around a year following the fatality of his good friend Arthur Henry Hallam. 'Period of time, Break, Rest' can be interpreted as a written example of the grief believed by Tennyson at the loss of his good friend. This essay will examine the various techniques used by Tennyson to convey his emotion to the reader.
The repetition of the word 'Respite' in the beginning line, can be viewed on lots of levels; at its most elementary it can be seen to be always a literal information of the waves breaking upon 'they cold grey stones', it could however, also be explaining the heartbreak believed by the speech of the poem. When the repetition of the word 'respite' is combined with trimeter structure of the starting line, it sorts a rhythmic combat, comparable to that of a ticking clock; which symbolically can be perceived to represent not only the unrelenting breaking of the sea, but also the unrelenting march of time itself, which most of us eventually post to. On another level the breaking waves can be considered a metaphor for the waves of feeling breaking on the tone, drowning them in their grief.
In the final two lines of the beginning stanza, the words reveals their need to converse 'The thoughts that come up' within them, this displays a high level of irony considering that the whole of the poem itself can be an expression of the 'thoughts'. The theme of communication employs on in to the second stanza; the explanations of any 'fisherman's youngster' shouting with 'his sister at play!', and a 'sailor lad' performing in 'his fishing boat on the bay!', both show examples of the worlds ability to make sound which is direct contrast to the speech. They both also show that despite the tone of the poem feeling as if the planet has ended, it includes in fact carried on. The usage of an exclamation tag at the end of both information can be looked at to signify both the voice's irritability to these interruptions to his silent grief, and also their annoyance at the worlds seeming indifference to their anguish.
The third stanza shows a good example of Tennyson's careful choice of words when explaining the destination of the 'stately boats'; he decides to use the word 'haven' instead of the more obvious harbour. This works as a result of two different meanings of the chosen expression, when read in framework it refers to the port where the ships are proceeding, however its different meaning of a location of shelter and coverage fits flawlessly with the fundamental theme of the poem; being that shelter and safeguard from their grief is something that the tone of voice is looking for. Gleam point of interest when noting the location of the 'haven' where in fact the ships are going, it is express as being 'under the hill:', this may be symbolic of being buried, which would tie in with the designs of fatality and grief that can be found within the poem. The final two lines of the 3rd stanza reaffirm the yearning experienced by the voice, this time around for 'the touch of any vanish'd hands', also to once again hear the 'tone of voice that continues to be!'; the notion of a mute tone is something that was at first seen in the beginning stanza, this time however the 'still' tone is referering to the deceased, this website link is something with strengthens the hyperlink between the voice and the foundation with their grief; this link between tone and departed is something that strengthens the bond of the two to the audience, allowing the grief of the voice's damage to feel more genuine.
The final stanza begins with the repetition of 'Period of time', seen in the opening line. This brings a feeling of the poem approaching back to where it started and allows the audience to conclude that the finish is coming around. By using this repetition once more it is established that the voice's mind-set and even the theme of the poem continue to be tightly entrenched in grief; despite everything that has gone before it the reiteration of the repetition of 'Rest' construe that the voice's heart is still destroyed, indeed even that their mind, body and spirit are destroyed too. This also sorts a form of connection between your tone and the deceased, where we have the literally dead person, we likewise have the speech themselves, who's experiencing a kind of living loss of life, isolated within their own grief unable to talk about in the joy of the world exhibited by the 'fisherman's youngster' and the 'sailor lad', but also unable to even speak the immense sorrow they are experiencing; on both ends of the spectral range of human emotion they can be in isolation.
In conclusion upon reading 'Respite, Break, Period of time', the reader is kept in little uncertainty as to what the predominant theme of the poem is. Tennyson achieves this on two levels, firstly in a literal sense, upon an initial go through of the poem were presented with a description of a person that has suffered damage which is grieving because of this; Tennyson reinforces this those to the reader through smart use of techniques such as repetition, structure and selection of terminology and punctuation, these just work at a level where in fact the reader doesn't have to be consciously aware of them to allow them to succeed.