Seamus heaney the tollund man essay

The Tollund Man is unnamed.


  1. Poem The Tollund Man by Seamus Heaney - Essay.
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The pilgrim will go "to see his peat brown head"; he goes to worship, in a way, yet the tone remains impersonal. The Tollund Man is passive, his eye-lids "mild pods". A victim, the action of the poem relates not who he is but what is done to him, and in the end he "reposes" in "sad freedom".

Essays on bogland and tollund man - seamus heaney

The pilgrim makes a respectful promise to "stand a long time", but the action itself is passive, promising not to move. The last line of this stanza "bridegroom to the goddess" takes on a more ominous, forceful tone as the bog itself is personified and equated to Ireland, female and overwhelming "she tightened her torc on him". The Tollund Man becomes almost, a surrogate Christ.

The second part of the poem suddenly becomes more emphatic after the stillness of the previous line "reposes at Aarhus" as the narrator says "I could risk blasphemy". Deriving his power from the land which turned him to a saint, the Tollund Man as victim, is linked to the "four young brothers", to whom he is both kin and saint, to "flesh of labourers" and "stockinged corpses".

Seamus Heaney

His paradoxical survival and repose should, the poem implies, give him the power to raise others. The last part of the poem returns to the quiet beginning, but here, instead of determination and looking forward, there is sorrow and despair, a sense of isolation which is linked to language.

Bog Queen Bog Queen is a story of decay, describing processes the body has been through until found and excavated. It is different from the other bog poems in that the body speaks: "I lay waiting. The body lies "between heathery levels" suggesting an overgrown world, nobility rotting.

Still the body speaks "I lay waiting" enhancing the reality of her strange existence, yet also asserting that she remains undefeated. She is a frozen, preserved work of art, described meticulously in icy images, her sash "a black glacier", the winter cold "like the nuzzle of fjords". Her discovery is a matter of chance. Here, the clipped language brings a sense of anger which in the last stanza turns to triumph "and I rose from the dark", evoking her past and glory. Edition 1st Edition.


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    The soul exceeds its circumstances. The head was exceedingly well-preserved. The eyes were closed and so was the mouth — the look on his face was calm and solemn as if he was just sleeping…. Accordingly, the body was discovered on May 6th, Tollund Man was alive during the first part of the iron age, years B.

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    Critical Analysis of "The Tollund Man" | Poem by Seamus Heaney

    In order to prepare the land people used a special kind of plough, an ard, which was pulled by oxen. The Tollund Man was discovered with a rope around his neck. Questions followed: had the rope been used for hanging him or strangling him; was this a sacrificial offering? Was he guilty of a crime for which he had to be punished?

    Punishment (poem)

    Was he a low-life in society that people wanted to get rid of? Or was he a slave or perhaps a well-respected man who was sacrificed in order to appease the gods of the bog, not least Nerthus?

    The Discovery of the First Bog Body

    I loved the structure the peat bank revealed after the spade had worked its way through the surface of the peat. Like this: Like Loading On the Spot.