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Tithonus Analysis

Author: Poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson Type: Poetry Views: 640

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The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,

The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,

Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,

And after many a summer dies the swan.

Me only cruel immortality

Consumes; I wither slowly in thine arms,

Here at the quiet limit of the world,

A white-hair'd shadow roaming like a dream

The ever-silent spaces of the East,

Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man--

So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,

Who madest him thy chosen, that he seem'd

To his great heart none other than a God!

I ask'd thee, "Give me immortality."

Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,

Like wealthy men who care not how they give.

But thy strong Hours indignant work'd their wills,

And beat me down and marr'd and wasted me,

And tho' they could not end me, left me maim'd

To dwell in presence of immortal youth,

Immortal age beside immortal youth,

And all I was in ashes. Can thy love

Thy beauty, make amends, tho' even now,

Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,

Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears

To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:

Why should a man desire in any way

To vary from the kindly race of men,

Or pass beyond the goal of ordinance

Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?

A soft air fans the cloud apart; there comes

A glimpse of that dark world where I was born.

Once more the old mysterious glimmer steals

From any pure brows, and from thy shoulders pure,

And bosom beating with a heart renew'd.

Thy cheek begins to redden thro' the gloom,

Thy sweet eyes brighten slowly close to mine,

Ere yet they blind the stars, and the wild team

Which love thee, yearning for thy yoke, arise,

And shake the darkness from their loosen'd manes,

And beat the twilight into flakes of fire.

Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful

In silence, then before thine answer given

Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek.

Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,

And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,

In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?

"The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts."

Ay me! ay me! with what another heart

In days far-off, and with what other eyes

I used to watch if I be he that watch'd

The lucid outline forming round thee; saw

The dim curls kindle into sunny rings;

Changed with thy mystic change, and felt my blood

Glow with the glow that slowly crimson'd all

Thy presence and thy portals, while I lay,

Mouth, forehead, eyelids, growing dewy-warm

With kisses balmier than half-opening buds

Of April, and could hear the lips that kiss'd

Whispering I knew not what of wild and sweet,

Like that strange song I heard Apollo sing,

While Ilion like a mist rose into towers.

Yet hold me not for ever in thine East;

How can my nature longer mix with thine?

Coldly thy rosy shadows bathe me, cold

Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet

Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam

Floats up from those dim fields about the homes

Of happy men that have the power to die,

And grassy barrows of the happier dead.

Release me, and restore me to the ground;

Thou seest all things, thou wilt see my grave:

Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;

I earth in earth forget these empty courts,

And thee returning on thy silver wheels.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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The poem Tithonus can be interpreted in number a of ways, depending on the individuals perspective, it can convey a different message.

| Posted on 2014-04-28 | by a guest

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Please provide meaning of the lines so as the poem could be convenient enough to understand...

| Posted on 2014-04-10 | by a guest

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It is important to note, that Tennyson changed the meaning and the figure of evil from the first Greek mythology about \'Tithonus\'. Tennyson, presents \'Tithonus\' as ignorant and foolish for wanting to, \'vary from the kindly race of men\'. Again, the figure or evil\' in the poem are the goddesses that surround Aurora, referred to in the poem as \'strong Hours\'. Notice that \'Hours\' is capitalised, yes it is their name, but it also presents irony as it is what Tithonus once longed for the most.

| Posted on 2013-05-15 | by a guest

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The opening of the poem is a useful summary of the theme; immortality. Derived from a greek myth, legend of tithonus. With immortality comes endless ageing, no respite, no solace and company with fellow souls, long gone. Tithonus begs for mercy and release from the endless wandering.

| Posted on 2013-03-11 | by a guest

.: :.

Hey, I\'m studying A Level English Literature
We were given the task to annotate the poem Tithonus independently..
I found it really difficult at first, but all of the comments put up by guests have really helped me out soo much! So thank you :)

| Posted on 2011-10-14 | by a guest

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it has some guy who bare loves this girl but she\'s too good for him so he gets all creepy and becomes immortal like her so that he can look at her and tings but then he gets old and BARE BUTTERS.

| Posted on 2011-03-18 | by a guest

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This poem has a deep meaning which effect the psychology of every individual. Everyone loves to be immortal but not like tithonus. Youth is the precious time in everyone's life and without youth immortality is not a gift but a curse.

| Posted on 2010-04-29 | by a guest

.: :.

This poem has a deep meaning which effect the psychology of every individual. Everyone loves to be immortal but not like tithonus. Youth is the precious time in everyone's life and without youth immortality is not a gift but a curse.

| Posted on 2010-04-29 | by a guest

.: :.

Agreat poem by lord tennyson which demonstrated how man can be immortal and shows the mans desire to be immortal .man is not like god and no one should compare himself to god

| Posted on 2009-12-11 | by a guest

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This is one of the poems i njoy reading d most. it has a lovely message that mortal(human) should not compare themself to god and hope to be a immortal. it exhibit human foolishness of comparing himself to the immortal god. it states that when a mortal tries to escape the cycle of nature even Gods cannot help him

| Posted on 2009-08-25 | by a guest

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this is one most beautiful poem i have ever read. i like the dramatic monologue used by the poet to emphsize on eos and also the poem is deeply lyrical

| Posted on 2009-06-07 | by a guest

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This is a gr8 work of art.teaches us the lesson that we should be content with whatever we have. Human beings should not compare themselves to Gods. It shows the greed of tithonus who is taught a lesson by being cursed with never-ending old age.-

| Posted on 2009-05-27 | by a guest

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Great poem it really encompasses the stagnation of the charechter. It highlights his burning desires in contrast to teh crual and cold realitys he is facing. The religious and meloncolic lexis excentuates the stasis within the poem Tennison definatly captured all the emotions and depictions of a situation to which is every mans desire.

| Posted on 2009-05-19 | by a guest

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i really liked this poem, it has a beautiful musical quality but at the same time it leaves behind a haunting effect which the reader cannot ignore. what lure immortality has when all those u have grown up with are not there with u any longer? and immortality can be so cruel when u see the one u love as young and beautiful and the u on the other hand are just withering away.

| Posted on 2009-05-09 | by a guest

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I enjoyed this sumptious poem from the the first haunting line to the last. I think we can all learn from a poet like Alfred Tenneloon

| Posted on 2009-04-27 | by a guest

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Tithonus by alfred tennyson is a poem which talks bout man's desire for immortality.The goddess Eos is in love with him and grants tithonus immortality.But later on, Tithonus grows older and the BOON becomes a BANE.He keeps on growing old as he has not asked for immortal youth.He asks eos to send him back to earth and take away the BANE.

| Posted on 2008-09-12 | by a guest

.: lolz :.

i dont like poetry at all and i think that its the dumbest thing in the world why would anyone like something like this

| Posted on 2008-04-27 | by a guest

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tithonus by lord alfrd tennyson is a poem reflecting the nature of a human being who wants to satiate his desire for immortality.having an utter beauty aka th goddess of dawn aurora fall in love with him gives him th edge to ask her for favourslike to grant him his wish for immortality.he gets it although th twist in this tale is its given to him without the bonus of youth with immortality.he ages eternally and longs to undo that wish for a natural life.the comaprissons are marvellous and it

| Posted on 2008-01-02 | by a guest

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The poem reflects man's burning desire to 'vary from his kindly race' as being his undoing. It offers a new angle to the prospect of immortality - a shadow of what one is and could be. Tithonus is shown to be almost spent of emotions and the void having been replaced by a mournful lament that encompasses the poem itself. Truly a magnificent work of art

| Posted on 2007-08-29 | by a guest

.: 'Once a man--' :.

Note: A-Level Student - Nic-.K.Cald-
(PLEASE DO NOT COPY - This could land me in crap if I write something in an exam simmilar to this)

Tennyson in 'Tithonous' presents that the narrator is unable to move on from his haunted past.
The narrator refers to himself as 'Once a man--' in the third person creating a barrier between himself and the perception of himself, the narrator objectifies his past self, giving a sence of immobility because of his haunted past. Simmialy in...

25th May 2007.

| Posted on 2007-05-24 | by a guest

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