“Break, Break, Break” Analysis

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Paying close attention to your structure (TEEL), write an analytical paragraph about “Break, Break, Break”. Be as insightful as you can.  Also, make sure you link to your thesis!!

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17 responses

  1. The first stanza creates a coastal scene with the waves “Break, Break, Break” on the “cold grey stones”. Within the first line the repetition and alliteration shows the waves constant movement and tidal patterns. The second line reveals that the first line is about waves breaking” on thy cold grey stones, O sea”. The second uses assonance in O and Y sounds creating length in the line, building to the exclamation mark. The third line is the opposite of the second with alliteration of the T sounds creating short and harsh sounds. The fourth line has alliteration of T sounds in “The thoughts that” which creates a short and sharp sentence. There is a rhyming pattern of A,B,C,B that create an affect of fluency between the stanzas allowing emotions and thoughts to build instead of decrease in a lack of fluency because of non-coherent phrases. The poet arouses the reader’s interests by using alliteration, assonance and repetition to create language for the ear and rhyming patterns to create fluency.

  2. This poem is about a persons experience with the sea. The author knows somebody who has died while at sea, this is described with the words “but oh for the touch of a vanish’d hand.” The repetition of the word break in lines one and 13 makes you think about what break means. In line one ‘break’ just means the waves crashing “on thy cold gray stones.” In line 13 after you’ve found out the poem is about death you realize ‘break’ could also mean heartbreak and sorrow. The poetic devices the author used is mainly repetition of sounds either at the beginning of words of the middle sounds such as “stately ships” repeats the ‘s’ sound, or “tongue could utter” repeated the ‘t’ sound. The author has put a rhythm pattern into the poem of ABCB which makes the poem move in a wave like pattern and makes it fluent. The use of repetition, assonance, and alliteration in this poem arouses the readers interest and makes this poem smooth and creates exotic visuals in your mind.

  3. The mood of “Break,Break,Break” changes throughout the whole poem, this technique may easily arouse a personal experience of the readers as well as bringing a new feeling to each stanza. The mood in the first and third stanza gives the reader a sense of emptiness and worry. This has been done to connect the reader to the poem. The first line in the whole poem – “Break,break,break” makes the reader concerned, and the rest of the poem is much the same with its harsh sounds and words. “… for the touch of a vanished hand” changes the mood of the poem to a feeling of emptiness, this has been done by linking the words of the poem to the feelings of the reader – “..vanished..” and emptiness. In stanza two the poet writes in a cheerful way, lifting the readers hopes, this has been done by the carefree remark of “O, well…”. In stanza four the mood turns to melancholily as there is mention of death. The last line is a depressed statement summoning up the peom as well as possibly arousing a personal experience of the readers.

  4. The poet arouses the readers interest through the use of a wide range of poetic techniques. The subject in “Break, Break, break” is more difficult to find than in most poems . The first and second line of the poem describe a coastal scene with the weaves “Break, break, breaking” “On thy cold gay stones, O sea!”. These first line suggest that the subject is something powerful and dangerous, which is confirmed in the second line when the poem explains that the subject is the sea. In the third and fourth line, however the subject seems to change to something, possibly emotion or thought which are arising in human but cannot be expressed. The structure of this stanza is in the form of A, B, C, B which further emphasizes and creates a picture of rolling waves on the seemingly never ending sea. The first stanza uses both repetition and assonance to convey mood and subject. The first line, “Break, break, break” with its soft ‘B’ sounds and short and sharp ‘K’ sounds and repetition further convey the idea that the subject is dangerous but also calming. Assonance of the long ‘O’ sound is used in the second line to make us like the sea and believe it to be a calm and tranquil place rather than a dangerous and ferocious one . The third and fourth line both have a repetition of the short and sharp ‘T’ sound making us feel frustration like the human would who could not express his emotions and thoughts. The mood changes throughout the stanza from a mood of power to a mood of melancholy and finally to a mood of frustration . The poet arouses the readers interest in his work by using assonance, repetition and rhyming patters to create appealing language to the ear, but also uses rhyming patterns to create fluency and imaginary.

  5. The first stanza of the poem effectively arouses the readers’ attention through its use of the four components of S.L.I.M. The initial subject of the first stanza is assumed to be the sea, “break, break, break, on thy cold gray stones, O sea!” However, the stanza goes on to read, “And I would that my tongue could utter the thoughts that arise in me,” which gives the impression of a troubled poet. While the subjects are differing, the rhyming scheme of a, b, c, b seems to link them both together, suggesting a hybrid subject later on in the poem. Moreover, the use of assonance, alliteration and repetition of both plosive sounds and words, creates both a rhyme and a sequence of harsh and soft words. “Break, break, break, on thy cold gray stones, O sea!” are a soft sounding lines because of the use of repetition of the ‘O’ and ‘A’ sounds, while “and I would that my tongue could utter the thoughts that arise in me,” are lines that are made harsh by the ‘T’ and ‘D’ sounds. These differences in sound could correspond to the dual subjects, the sea being the kinder and the trouble being the harsher. Furthermore, while sounds for the ear are used, imagery isn’t evident in the first stanza, but the mood is. The overall mood of the first stanza is melancholy because of the use of the words like “cold gray stones,” which develop the total subject into a darker feel. Through the use of these devices and a subject that is both unclear and intriguing, the poem has aroused the readers’ interest.

  6. Throughout the poem ‘Break, break, break’, the poet has used poetic devices for the ear to arouse the reader’s interest in the personal issue of losing a loved one. There are many forms of ‘devices for the ear’ that create a melancholy mood, which reflects the subject of the poem. In the first, second and third stanza, sibilance appears quite often. “Shouts with his sister…sailor lad that sings…stately ships”, are examples of the poets use of sibilance. The poet has used sibilance because the repetition of the ‘s’ sound creates and mourning and grieving mood which is relevant to the subject, that being the emotions felt when a loved one has passed away. Throughout the entire poem, vowel sounds that the poet has used are long. This has been done to reflect the long and tiring days that the grieving person goes through. The language in the second stanza is quite cheerful and there are a few short sounding letters. Alliteration of the letter ‘b’ “boat in the bay”, would normally create a happy and upbeat mood, however in this context, the repetition of the ‘b’ sound has created annoyance and even jealously in the character the poem is about. The poet had done this to illuminate the difficult emotions people have when they loose a loved one, for example when people feel at their worst it is hard to think that others are living their normal happy lives, completely untouched by your lost. The poet has chosen specific poetic devices for the ear to arouse the reader’s interest in the personal issue being described and to create a melancholy mood which reflects the mood of the poem.

  7. The subject of this poem arouses the reader’s attention through the use of personal experience which is the base of this poem. Stanza one really confuse the audience of what the subject matter of the poem is. The repetition of the word “break, break, break” is very powerful word suggesting that it could be a metaphor that something is breaking like a heart. This is very powerful because the waves are uncontrollable and never stop crashing just like your heart which always reflects back upon some moments in life that are terrible. “On thy cold gray stones, O sea!” could be and extended metaphor from the line before suggesting that the rocks are still and cant be moved from getting hit by the waves constantly crashing onto them. “Gray” can also be interpreted as death so this gives the audience insight about what the poem is about. Also in this line assonance of the long O sound is used to create a malencony mood. In line three “And I would that my tongue could utter” alliteration is used of the T to make the line short and harsh to get the message across. This technique is also used in the next line “The thoughts that arise in me.” The use of poetic techniques arouses the reader’s interest in the poem.

  8. In the second stanza, the poet is describing a scene where two children are happy at play to arouse the readers’ interest through his description of a personal experience. This stanza has a rhyming pattern of A, B, C, B, which is the same throughout the other stanzas. In the first line of the stanza the poet is comparing his grief with the boys’ happiness and says that everything is perfect for the fisherman’s boy. By using the words “O, well”, the poet is expressing how he feels like everyone else is happy while he is grieving. The second line describes a jubilant image of the fisherman’s boy and his sister playing together. The poet uses the word “shout” to give an impression that the two children are excited and enjoying themselves. In the third line the poet uses the same technique in line two to compare the “sailor lad” and his happiness with his own pain and grief. The poet explains that everything is fine and good for the sailor. In the last line the poet uses the word “sings” and an exclamation point at the end of the line to express the joyful and exhilarating mood of the stanza. Throughout the whole stanza the poet arouses the readers interest through his description of his personal experience of loss and grief.

  9. The poem Break Break Break is about a person who is sad about someone’s death as in line 3 and 4 of the third stanza say “but O for the touch of a vanish’d hand, And the sound of a voice that is still”. This shows the longing of the poet for someone who is no longer there. The poem is consisted of 4 stanzas with a, b, c, b rhyming pattern, which emphasizes a steady flow of words that rise with his pain that keeps coming back through line 4 of each stanza. The assonance of the long O vowel sounds that are repeated throughout the poem slow down the mood and helps to keep it serious. The mood of the poet is frustration at the beginning that he can’t put his thoughts into words “And I would that my tongue could utter”(3). In the second stanza, the mood changes to him wanting the happiness of the fisherman’s boy and the sailor lad. In the third stanza, the poet is talking about his life continuing on but he is still grieving. The repetition of the word Break, break, break in the first and fourth stanza symbolize the pain in his heart that has never gone away like the waves that keep crashing the shore. The personal experience of the poet arouses readers’ feelings of pain and sorrow that they might have gone through themselves.

  10. The first stanza of Break Break Break arouses the readers attention as it implies that it’s about a known subject, the sea. The first impression of the primary stanza is the sea, as it begins with alliteration/repetition of ”break, break, break”, which describes the waves breaking ”on thy cold gray stones”. End rhyme is used in a a-b-c-b format, with the words sea and me as the sea has affected the authors life. Assonance is used only once in the first stanza with the long ”aye” sound in the word ”break” to portray the long and relaxing motion of the waves in the ocean The line ”On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!”, gives the shallow impression of the location of where the waves are breaking, but after further readings this changes dramatically into a metaphor and transforms the mood. The sentence ”And I would that my tongue could utter the thoughts that arise in me” explains how the author finds it difficult to speak about the incident that occurred. ”The that arise in me” is another use of alliteration except it uses the ”th” sound, which describing the unpredictable and jaggedness of the dangerous sea. The use of S.L.I.M is used to stimulate the readers interest.

  11. The structure and subject of the poem, ‘Break, Break, Break’ has been thoughtfully implemented to constitute a certain the feeling and mood of the poem, as well as making a parallel between the subject, which includes the death of a loved one and the ocean. The structure has moreover been made parallel with possible personal experiences from the poet’s life. The structure of the poem is A, B, C, B for each paragraph, which consists of four lines each. This has been implemented to possibly create a constant rhythm, describing the ongoing process of life, even after the ‘loved one’s’ death. The fact that the lines are in a repeating rhythm also constitutes parallels with the constant high and low rippling movements of the sea: the obvious subject of the analogy. Line 12 describes the subject of the poem: “And the sound of a voice that is still” (line 12). The ‘character’ has lost someone precious to him, as also in the final line of the poem: “Will never come back to me” (line 16). In line 15 the poet also describes “a day that is dead” (line 15), furthermore describing the loss of someone precious, as a day can’t be ‘dead’ – the person must have passed away, not living in that current time or ‘day’. The death of someone precious is most likely related to the poet’s actual life, recreating his experience in the form of a poem. As well as the structure and subject, language that affects the ear also significantly contributes to the poet’s personal experiences intertwined within the poem.

  12. The poem Break, Break Break is about someone who is grieving the death of a loved one. In the first stanza it has a melancholy feeling to it but as the stanza’s go on the reader starts to feel the the pain and sadness of the poet. Stanza 1, the reader could feel a little lost as they poet doesn’t give much evidence of what they are talking about. but the line ‘Break break break’ and ‘O sea’ could be referring to waves crashing. In the second stanza is could be linking to a happy memory, but the reader doesn’t know this for sure. But in stanza’s 3 and 4 you begin to realise that the poet is grieving someone close to them, you also apprehend that all the references to the sea could mean that the person died at sea. You can feel the poet pain when in stanza 4 is says ‘ Will never come back to me’ The poets arouses many different emotions in the reader it goes from content to sorrowful.

  13. The poet is referring to the grieving of death. The first stanza uses a repetition of plosive sounds. This causes feelings such as anger and regret in the reader. Although towards the finishing of the stanza, it eases off to a melancholy mood. The assonance is used to draw the reader’s attention to particular words which are relevant to the subject of the poem. The poet has used the issue of death at sea to recognise those who have lost someone themselves.

  14. The poem is describing the sea and emotions of a happy surrounding and a grieving person. Which interests the reader, or relate to a past experience. In the first stanza the repetition of Break, Break, Break, creates a rhythm of waves crashing. The second line illustrates the setting of the poem to the reader, how it is rocky by the sea. Assonance is used to arise from the poems rhyme and emotion, leading the reader to another thought. The poet uses melancholy, to create a mood of sadness relating to the persons grieving.
    In the second stanza sibilance is used to help the poem rhyme, it also creates the surrounding sounds. The repetition of the first line makes the reader think back to the first stanza. The poem uses emotions of happiness, calm and sadness, which recounts the person’s thoughts.

  15. The first stanza of the poem Break, break,break includes a vast array of imagry and mood what the reader feels and relates to. In the first stanza of the poem the poet is trying to tell a story, a story what in it shows us what he is feeling. The words break,break,break could symbolise two things, one breaking of the waves and two, the breaking of the heart. I believe the reader is trying to combine two things, one very common and most of us hear in life and the other very solitary and a personal matter. The line ‘and I would that my tongue could utter” tells me that he is so heart broken by the event that, even though he has words to say but he can not say them becaus ehe is so depressed and sad. The line that comes straight after it “the thougyhts that arise in me” also relates back to it, saying that he has so many thoughts he could share but he is so upset that he can not say anything. When I read the first stanza I had the mental image of a tall, strong man in black and white standing on the beach with red marks arou nd his eyes becasue he has be crying so much.

  16. The first stanza arouses reader interest in aspects of life in this case the bleakness of a coastal scene which describes melancholy and mournful emotions about the difficulties of expressing one’s thoughts, especially when they are troubled. In the first line “Break, break, break” the poet is using repetition and alliteration to replicate the sound of waves breaking on the sea which presents an image of a coastal scene. In the second line “Oh they cold gray stones, O Sea!” the poet uses assonance on the letters ‘o’ and ‘y’ to lead up to and bring melancholy emotions before the exclamation mark. The cold gray stones could be related to death, as in grave stones.

  17. In stanza one the poet arouses reader intrest in his personal experiance of watching a coastal scene and thinking deeply about life. Repition is used in “break break break” to emphasise the sound of the waves.

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