Break Break Break Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share Break Break Break Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by Alfred Lord Tennyson. In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of Night Witches, Friends and Flatterers and Wandering Singers so, you can check these posts as well.

Break Break Break Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Utter – to speak aloud
  • Stately – big and grand
  • Bay – part of a sea surrounded by land on three sides
  • Crags – rough, steep masses of rocks
  • Haven – safe and peaceful place

Question 1: Who or what is being addressed in the first line?

Answer: The sea is being addressed in the first line.

Question 2: What does the poet say in the first two lines of the poem?

Answer: The poet says that the waves of the sea are beating against the rocky shore.

Question 3: In the first stanza, what does the speaker wish he could do? What does it say about his state of mind?

Answer: In the first stanza, the speaker wishes that he could speak out loud the thoughts that come to his mind. This shows that he was feeling overwhelmed and upset. His mind was so full of difficult emotions that he wanted to express them and feel better, but he could not.

Question 4: What did the poet say about the fisherman’s boy and the sailor lad?

Answer: He says that the fisherman’s boy is playing with his sister and the sailor bird sings in his boat on the bay.

Question 5: Where are the ships going?

Answer: The ships are going to the place under the hill where they are sheltered from the wind.

Question 6: Who are the people mentioned in the second stanza? Where are they and what are they doing?

Answer: The fisherman’s boy, his sister and the sailor boy are the people mentioned in the second stanza. The fisherman’s children are playing on the shore. The sailor boy is singing and sailing a boat on the bay.

Question 7: Read the third stanza. What does the speaker mention that has remained unchanged?

Answer: In the third stanza, the speaker mentions that the stately ships sail away to their destinations as before. That scene has remained unchanged. What has changed is that the speaker’s beloved friend is no more, so the speaker can no longer hold his hand or hear his voice.

Question 8: Will never come back to me. What will never come back to the speaker? Why?

Answer: The tender grace of a day that is dead—the beauty and warmth of the time that is past, the time spent with his friend, will never come back to the speaker, because the friend with whom the speaker spent the time is no more.

Break Break Break Questions & Answers

Question 9: Explain the lines:

But O, for the touch of a vanish’d hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Answer: By these lines, the poet expresses the feeling of absence of his dear friend and imagines the touch of his vanished hand and the sound which makes all calm and quiet.

Question 10: In the poem, who are the two people that cannot speak?
Or
Why cannot the poet express all that is going on his mind?

Answer: The two people that are unable to speak are the speaker and his friend. The speaker’s friend is no more, so his voice cannot be heard anymore. The speaker is deeply upset by the death of his friend. He is so distressed that he cannot express all that is going on his mind. So, he too is unable to speak as he would like to.

Question 11: How does the poem show that life and nature go on despite what happens to human beings?

Answer: The speaker is mourning the death of his friend. He is deeply sad but he cannot express his sorrow. He misses his friend’s company and his voice and knows that the time spent with his friend will never return. Yet he sees that the sea waves crash on the shore as always; children play and sing and sail as before, unaffected by his sorrow. Ships sail on. Nothing beyond his own life stops or changes because of his sorrow. Thus, life and nature go on despite what happens to human beings.

Question 12: What mood is the poet in and why do you think so?

Answer: The poet is in a sad mood because he writes about a ‘vanished hand’ and ‘a voice that is still’. He also says that the grace of the day is dead.

Question 13: This poem has used personification in the first stanza. Which thing is given human qualities and how?

Answer: In the first stanza, the sea has been given human qualities. The speaker addresses the sea directly, as he would address a person, and asks the sea to break on its cold gray stones, as if the breaking of the sea waves on the shore is like an action performed by a human being.

Question 14: Repetition is another technique used in this poem. Which words have been repeated? Why do you think these words have been repeated — what effect does the repetition produce?

Answer: The words repeated in this poem are ‘break, break, break…O Sea’ and ‘O, (well) for the…’. The first set of words have been repeated to show the speaker’s helplessness and hopelessness as he asks the sea to keep breaking its waves on the shore. The word ‘break’ may reflect the heartbreak he is feeling. He may also wish to say that he wants to break his silence and express his sorrow but cannot. The other set of words have been repeated to show how sad the speaker is feeling. He writes ‘O, well for the…’ when he notices that others are carrying on happily and lightheartedly when his heart is weighed down by sorrow. He writes ‘O, for the…’ when he wishes that he could get back the company of his friend. All these repetitions express sadness and distress.

So, these were Break Break Break Questions & Answers.