The Inchcape Rock Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This post will share The Inchcape Rock Questions & Answers.

‘The Inchcape Rock’ by Robert Southey is a ballad and was published in 1802. In my previous posts, I have also shared The Inchcape Rock – Stanza-Wise Summary so, make sure to check that post as well.

The Inchcape Rock Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Abbot – head monk in a monastery
  • Perilous – dangerous
  • Keel – timber or steel structure on which the framework of the ship is built
  • Surge – (here) the rise of the sea waves
  • Abbot – head monk in a monastery
  • Buoy – anchored float used to warn of nearby hazards in the water
  • Plague – cause trouble
  • Rover – a sea pirate
  • Scoured – moved quickly and searched a place thoroughly to find something
  • Mirth – gladness accompanied with laughter
  • Plundered – stole goods using force
  • Gurgling – a hollow bubbling sound
  • Haze – thin mist
  • Gale – storm

Question 1: What is the Inchcape Rock?

Answer: The Inchcape Rock is a perilous reef of the east coast of Angus, Scotland near the mouth of River Tay. The rock is just a few inches above the surface of the sea in low tide. In high tide, the rock is completely covered by rough seas. Many ships have wrecked because of mistakenly crashing on to the rock, when it was covered by the sea.

Question 2: Answer the following questions:

(a) Where was the rock?

Answer: The rock lay hidden in the sea off the east coast of Scotland.

(b) How was it sometimes hidden?

Answer: It sometimes remained hidden under sea water during the high tide.

(c) What is meant by the warning bell?

Answer: The warning bell refers to the bell placed on the Inchcape Rock by the Abbot of Aberbrothok, to give a warning to the sailors about the danger from the rock.

(d) How was the warning bell rung?

Answer: The warning bell was placed on a buoy and during high tides the movement of waves made the buoy to float and in turn rang the bell and warned the sailors.

Question 3: Read and answer the questions:

The Inchcape Rock Questions & Answers

(a) How was the ‘Inchcape Rock’ sometimes hidden?

Answer: The ‘Inchcape Rock’ sometimes remained hidden under sea water during the high tide.

(b) Why was the warning bell placed on the Inchcape rock?

Answer: The warning bell was placed on the Inchcape Rock to prevent the sailors from colliding with the rock.

Question 4: What was placed on the Inchcape Rock? Who had done so?

Answer: The Abbot of Aberbrothok had placed the bell on a buoy, on the Inchcape Rock. He had done so to warn the mariners of the perilous Rock when there was a storm at sea.

Question 5: How did the warning bell ring?

Answer: The warning bell was placed on a buoy and during high tide the movement of waves made the buoy to float and in turn rang the bell and warned the sailors.

Question 6: What did the sailors wished for and why?

Answer: The sailors wished that they could hear the Inchcape Rock. The ringing of the bell would have indicated the presence of the perilous rock and thus saved the ship from colliding with it.

The Inchcape Rock Questions & Answers

Question 7: Read and answer the questions:

The Inchcape Rock Questions & Answers

(a) What does the poet want to convey in this stanza?

Answer: In this stanza, the poet is describing the calmness of the sea. There is no stir in the air and the sea also appears to be calm. The ship stood very still in the ocean, this we know because the ‘keel’ of the ship is steady.

(b) What sort of man the Abbot of Aberbrothok was?

Answer: He was an Abbot. That explains why he was so spiritual, benign, and compassionate. He was distressed to see ships meeting their end due to the hidden rock in the sea. Installing the Bell was a clever way to warn the sailors to steer clear of danger.

(c) What is the figure of speech used in these lines?
i. “no stir in the air, no stir in the sea.”
ii. “So little they rose, so little they fell.”

Answer: Here at two places poet has used ‘repetition’, “no stir in the air, no stir in the sea.” “So little they rose, so little they fell.” Also, there is ‘alliteration’ in the lines, “The ship was still as till could be.”

Question 8: Answer the following questions:

(a) Who was Sir Ralph The Rover?

Answer: Sir Ralph The Rover was a pirate who was aboard one of the ships at sea.

(b) What was the ‘darker speck’ that Sir Ralph the Rover fixed his eyes on?

Answer: The ‘darker speck’ that Sir Ralph the Rover fixed his eyes on was the buoy of the Inchcape Bell.

(c) Where did the boatmen row the boat?

Answer: The boatmen rowed the boat to the Inchcape Rock.

(d) What did the Rover do there? Why?

Answer: The Rover cut off the bell from the Inchcape Rock. He did so out of jealousy and self- interest. He wanted to spoil the Abbot of Aberbrothok’s reputation as he had placed the bell there. it would also allow him to easily loot the wealth from the shipwrecks, caused by the Inchcape Rock.

Question 9: Why did Sir Ralph want to create trouble for Abbot of Aberbrothok?

Answer: Sir Ralph wanted to create trouble for Abbot of Aberbrothok because he was jealous of the popularity of Abbot of Aberbrothok and simply wanted to make life difficult for him.

Question 10: Answer the following questions:

(a) Describe the impact of the Rover’s action on the ship as well as on himself.

Answer: The Rover’s act of cutting the bell from the Inchcape Rock led to the collision of his ship wit the rock and finally, the sinking of the ship with the Rover.

(b) What did the Rover say after doing the wicked deed?

Answer: After performing the wicked deed of cutting the bell from the Inchcape Rock, the Rover said that from then onwards the mariners who used to thank the Abbot would no longer thank him.

(c) Where did the Rover sail away? How did he grow rich?

Answer: The Rover sailed away from the Inchcape Rock. He became rich by looting the wealth from the ships that struck against the Inchcape Rock.

(d) After amassing wealth, where was the Rover sailing?

Answer: After amassing wealth, the Rover was sailing towards Scotland’s shore.

The Inchcape Rock Questions & Answers

(e) Describe the weather conditions prevailing when the Rover was sailing. How do the weather conditions predict about the Rover’s final fate?

Answer: When the Rover was sailing, there was a thick haze over the atmosphere and no sun in the sky. There were strong winds and darkness all around. the weather conditions predicted that finally the Rover would meet his end in the sea.

(f) Why couldn’t the sailors see any land on the way to Scotland’s shore?

Answer: The sailors couldn’t see any land on the way to Scotland’s shore because of bad weather. There was a thick haze in the atmosphere and total darkness in the absence of the Sun in the sky.

Question 11: Read and answer the questions:

Question

(a) Why was Sir Ralph in despair?

Answer: Sir Ralph was in despair because his ship was sinking and he could do nothing about it.

(b) Why was the ship sinking?

Answer: The ship was sinking because it had struck against the Inchcape Rock.

Question 12: How was Ralph, the Rover responsible for his fate?

Answer: Sir Ralph was a wicked man who cut off the bell that warned people against the Inchcape Rock. Once during a storm in the sea, his ship crashed against the same rock. Thus, he was very well responsible for his own fate.

Question 13: Describe the dying moments of Ralph.

Answer: When Ralph realized that he along with his men was doomed, his mind became a maelstrom of anger, disgust and frustration. He cursed himself as it dawned upon him that the missing Bell had been the cause of his tragedy. As the death drew nearer, he heard the same sound that the sinking bell had made while falling down to the sea bed. The sound grimly reminded him of his sin of dislodging the Bell.

Question 14: Why had the Abbot of Aberbrothok placed the Bell on the Inchcape Rock?

Answer: The Inchcape rock posed real danger to the shipping in the area lying to the south-east of Scotland. When the sea was calm, the upper portion of the rock was visible to the passing ships as the water level remained low. The captain would see the rock and steer clear of it with ease. But, when the sea became turbulent, the water would rise and submerge the rock. The unsuspecting captain would run into the hidden rock wrecking his ship.

To avert such disasters, the abbot of Aberbrothok, a kind man with an altruistic mind, had tethered a large brass warning bell to the tip of the rock. When a storm blew, the bell would sway with the choppy water and give out a loud sound. The sound alerted the passing ships of the hidden danger and made them to bypass the perilous rock. Many shipwrecks were thus preempted.

The Inchcape Rock Questions & Answers

Question 15: What do you make out of the Abbot of Aberbrothok’s character?

Answer: He was a kind-hearted, humane person who wished well for everyone. That is why he had placed the bell at the Inchcape Rock’s buoy.

Question 16: How is the theme, ‘the evil that one plots for others, recoils on oneself’, carried out at the end of the poem?

Answer: The good symbolised by the Abbot and the bad symbolised by Ralph are compared. The poem demonstrates the principle that crime gets its own punishment. The Rover, in his high adventure and disregard for others, cuts off the bell with the view to vex the good Abbot and the other helpless sailors. He represents what is bad in man and ironically gets caught in his own trap of mischief. Remorse and regret later overtake him.

Question 17: Compare the character of Ralph the Rover with that of the Abbot of Aberbrothok.

Answer: Ralph, the Rover did evil deeds. He was a cruel, jealous and a reckless pirate who could not see the good of others. The Abbot of Aberbrothok was kind and good to others. He hung a bell on the Inchcape Rock to warn the sailors about the rock. This shows the bad nature of the Rover and the good nature of Aberbrothok.

Question 18: What is the message of the ‘The Inchcape Rock’?

Answer: The poem delivers the message that one should not willingly cause harm to others. If they do, they would be punished in the end. In other words, it is “As you sow, so shall you reap.”

So, these were The Inchcape Rock Questions & Answers.