Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies Summary And Important Questions

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Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies

-William Shakespeare

Summary of Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies:

‘Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies’ is a song taken from an act, scene 2 of “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare. A spirit Aerial sings this song to the prince of Naples, Ferdinand who mistakenly thinks that his father has drowned into the sea.

Aerial says that the father of Ferdinand lies 30 feet below the sea. His bone has been changed into coral and eyes into pearls. Not a single part of his body has faded away but has been changed radically into something rich and strange.
Finally, Aerial tries to assure Ferdinand of his father’s death asking him to listen to Ding Dong sound of the bell.

The poem is rich in the use of alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia. This poetic devices, add a musical and magical effect to the poem.

Some Important Questions and Answers from “Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies”

Question. Is death meaningful in the poem “Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies”?

Answer. The death described in the poem Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies is a meaningful one. Usually, when somebody dies drowning into the sea, the dead body is either eaten up by sea creatures or gets decayed. But the dead body of Ferdinand’s father has neither decayed nor has been eaten up by the sea creatures. Instead, it has been transferred into something rich and strange. For example, his bones have been changed into Coral and eyes into pearls. Moreover, the ritual of ringing the death bell that is usually absent in unnatural death is present in the death of Ferdinand’s father. So the death described in the poem is a meaningful one.

Question. Find examples of onomatopoeia, alliteration, and assonance in the poem “Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies”. How do they contribute to the meaning of the poem?

Answer. Onomatopoeia is a word which sounds like the thing it refers to. An example of onomatopoeia used in the poem is, “Ding-Dong”

Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sound especially in the stressed syllable of a word. Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies is an example of alliteration.

Assonance is the repetition of the vowel sound. An example of assonance is, “Of his bone are coral made”.

These poetic devices add a musical and magical effect on the poem.

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