Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies
1 Write an essay on “Life and art”.
Life is a mystery and art represents life. Art is related to creation and life is related to experience. Life creates art and art represents life in a pleasing way. Life would be boring without art.
Life is short, and time passes quickly. A small baby becomes young and then old and finally disappears from the world after death. In life, we come across sweet and bitter incidents. Life is mixture of tears and smiles, pain and pleasure. Life is full of feelings, ideas and sentiments.
Art represents human feelings, sentiments, knowledge and experience in a pleasing way. Art is also motivating. Art contributes to a happy and satisfied life. To get some relief from the tensions and difficulties, we can enjoy artistic things like music, dance, painting and poetry. Artistic experience helps us forget the problems of life, though for a short time.
Life is the source of art, and art is the source of pleasure in life. Without art life is meaningless and uninteresting. Life is short. When we die our life is finished. But art is immortal. It can remain for centuries. Life comes to an end, but art remains forever. Devkota has become immortal for his literary works like “Muna Madan”. Leonardo da Vinci is remembered for famous paintings like“Mona Lisa”.
2 Is death meaningful in the poem?
OR, Write the main idea/theme/summary of the poem?
The poem “Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies” presents death as meaningful transformation rather than an end of life. A son thinks his father has drowned. A spirit named Ariel tells him that precious things have been made from the body parts of his father. His bones have turned into coral and his eyes into pearl. Nothing of the dead body has decayed. It has only gone through sea change, and this change is for the better. Knowing this the sea-nymphs are also ringing the bell for the dead.
3 Comment on the significance of ‘ding dong’ in the poem?
The significance of “ding dong” is its musical effect and its connection with death. This is an onomatopoeic word. Onomatopoeia is the technique of representing the sound of real things in the form of words. “Ding dong” suggests the sound of the bell. In this poem sea-nymphs are ringing the bell to inform the death of Ferdinand’s father. This suggests that his death has become meaningful.
4 Find examples of onomatopoeia, alliteration and assonance in the poem. How do they contribute to the meaning of the poem?
The poem has been made musical with the use of onomatopoeia, alliteration and assonance. ‘Ding dong’ is an example of onomatopoeia as it gives us the sense of a ringing bell. In the poem, the spirit Ariel tells Ferdinand to hear sea-nymphs ringing bell for his dead father. In the line ‘full fathom five thy father lies’ we find both alliteration and assonance. The repetition of initial consonant sounds in the words ‘full’, ‘fathom’, ‘five’ and ‘father’ creates alliteration. And the repetition of the same vowel sound in the words ‘five’, ‘thy’ and ‘lies’ creates assonance.