Apostrophe To The Ocean by Lord Byron Essay

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The greatest human fear is that which is unknown, and impossible to predict or anticipate.   Byron vocalizes the Ocean’s extreme and often frightening force against human nature in this poem, “Apostrophe to the Ocean”. The ocean is an impregnable force impossible to attack, or conquer. However, our Byron, rather than feeling fearful of the ocean, is inspired by the toll it takes on human life. Byron resents humanity because of its rejection of nature’s natural path, instead modernizing the world. His hope is essentially that the ocean will get fed up and have its revenge against them. It can be said that in most of the modernization described in the poem, Byron is referring to the Industrial revolution which took place throughout the romantic age and was extremely catastrophic to nature and land. However, it still remains that human life is powerless in the face of the ocean. Byron rejoices in the idea that “Man marks the earth with ruin—his control / Stops with the shore”. His wish for the sea to take revenge on humanity is most clearly dreamt in the lines “For earth’s destruction thou dost all despise, / Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies”. A common theme throughout the romantic age was one in which poets often were enthralled and influenced by the all controlling force of nature. Byron feels deeply for the Ocean. Although at first he is intimidated by the uncontained power of it, he tells of eventually playing in its waves, “For I was as it were a child of thee, / And trusted to thy billows far and near”. In “Apostrophe to the Ocean”, Byron is able to write of his admiration for nature; particularly the ocean and its majestic power over mankind. In the throes of its theme, the poem is one of timeless measure, the feelings of embarrassment and resentment towards our idea of “progress” spreading, and they will continue to do so.

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