How are animals presented in ‘The Eagle’ and ‘Perch’?
The Eagle
Written in 1851, Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'The Eagle' is a brief look into the world of this majestic bird of prey. The eagle is portrayed as nature itself, and how man, portrayed as ‘the wrinkled sea’, must crawl beneath it.
This is contradictory to ‘Perch’ by Seamus Heaney as he depicts the animals as being an unwelcome element in the picturesque scene he describes of the clear Bann River where he fished as a child.
Personally I feel that Tennyson is accusing man of being cowardly by using the word crawl. There are many definitions of ‘crawl’, but I feel that the most important one is ‘feel as if crawling with insects; "My skin crawled--I was terrified”’. This definition is important because your skin also crawls when you feel guilt, and perhaps Tennyson is showing man as the guilty party, and that he blames them for the destruction of nature; this poem was, after all, written during the Industrial Revolution.                  
I also think that it could be a representation of the British Empire, as at the time of the poem being written Britain covered a large proportion of the world. The poem was written during the reign of Queen Victoria, who is well renowned as being one of the most powerful monarchs in history; so the bird could be representational of the queen herself, or the intense power she exerted over the majority of the world during her time as queen.
The poem also could be linked to Greek mythology and in particular the god Zeus. He was known to be the father of all the other gods and mankind itself, and was considered to be the ruler of the skies. He possessed and was often related to symbols such as the eagle and a thunderbolt which both are mentioned in the poem in order to represent the power of the bird and indeed of nature. The eagle is considered to be the ‘king of the sky’ and surveys all life and hunts most of it while flying.
I think the fact that Tennyson links...