Treatment of Melancholy in Crossing The Bar

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      Tennyson imbues the atmosphere with melancholy in most of his poems. The protagonists of his poems are isolated and melancholic figures. In Crossing the Bar, Tennyson anticipates his death and gives expression to his feelings in metaphorical language.

      Crossing the Bar is a small poem may be described as both an elegy and as a testament of faith of the poet himself. It is elegiac because it suggests mournful thoughts of death. Hence, the poet speaks of his own approaching death; however, because he does not complain bitterly or show pain, fear, or cowardice, gloom is absent. It also reveals the poet's serene faith in religion and God, for he says that he would soon meet his God face to face. Really, it is a description of the soul's journey to the unknown land of death. The poet tells of his departure from this world to the Eternal Home which is the kingdom of Heaven.

Tennyson imbues the atmosphere with melancholy in most of his poems. The protagonists of his poems are isolated and melancholic figures. In Crossing the Bar, Tennyson anticipates his death and gives expression to his feelings in metaphorical language.
Melancholy in Crossing the Bar

      When Tennyson flourished as a great poet, there was a great controversy in England regarding the truth of christianity and the existence of God himself. People had been brought up to regard the Bible as a divinity inspired book; but when they found it to contain untenable theories and the statements, as proved by scientists such as Darwin, faith in the whole of the scriptures began to weaken and to die out in many earnest people. Tennyson was one of the intellectuals of the time who were sorely troubled by this conflict of religion and science. But, after a great deal of strom and stress within himself, Tennyson came to believe that notwithstanding the conclusions of science, there must be a divine providence and a divine plan in the shaping of the world and the lives of men here. Death, is merely the end of the body. The soul is immortal.

      For images, for marvellous sound-effects, and for depth of quite feeling, Crossing the Bar is assuredly one of the most beautiful poems in the whole range of English poetry. Tennyson uses maximum metaphors in this poem. 'Sunset and evening star', symbolise old age, 'the call' is the call of death, and 'moaning of the bar' symbolises the fear and agony of death. This world of ours is the harbour, and the 'other world', infinite and eternal, is the real home of soul, where it is united once again with the Divine, the 'pilot', the guide of the human soul. In life the poet has known doubts and fears, troubles and anxieties, But, now at the close of this lie, a deep peace has settled on his soul. He contemplates death with a clam, and unruffled mind.

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