Home English Summary | Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies William Shakespeare

Summary | Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies William Shakespeare

full fathom five thy father lies summary


“Full Fathom Five, Thy  Father Lies” is a short poem extracted from( taken out) Shakespeare’s “tempest” – a one-act play. This expects ( short part) is from act 1 scene 2. The play (poem) though, is a supernatural story, it is also has a touch on ecology.

In the poem Ariel – the spirit character sings a song to prince Ferdinand to give him mental torture and console him as well. Ariel informs the prince that king Alonso. Father of Ferdinand from Naples has been killed in a shipwreck (ship accident) and; he (king) is lying dead at the bottom of the sea at the depth of five fathom 6 feet.
Ariel Further says that changes have been taken place. His (king’s) bones have been changed into corals and the eyes into pearls. It means bones and eyes have further been enriched in their qualities by sea change. No parts of his dead body have gone wastage with complete decay and destruction.
Ariel adds that at the bottom of the sea the nymphs are mourning the death by ringing death bells at every hour. He says the sound of the bell can still be heard. Thus, the death of the king of Naples has been celebrated.
His death is important on the ecological and ritual levels. In ecology, there is birth, growth, and death. These are the changes that are necessary for ecology and the environment. Here, in this poem, the king dies and his body has undergone several changes. 
The death is important ritually too (also), It’s because at his (king) death the nymphs from the sea come to mourn. In this way, the death of the king has widely been celebrated on its meaningful base. 
This poem is remarkable (important) in the use of some poetic devices (writing style of the poem) like alliteration, assonance, and.

Full fathom five, Thy father Lies Main Points: 

1)It’s  a poem
2)This poem is an extract from his (Shakespeare’s) “Tempest”- a one-act play –Act one scene 2.
As a play it has some characters :
Alonso:- He is the king of Naples (modern Italy). While going to sea _voyage he has shipwreck, the ship sank, he is drowned and died.
Ferdinand:-The prince of Naples –son of Alonso when he hears the information of the death of his father, he starts mourning near the sea /ocean.
Ariel:- It’s the spirit character in the sea, spirit tires to console.Ferdinand not to weep at the death of his father because death is meaningful ecologically and ritually.
Sea nymphs:-nymphs from the sea who mourn at the death of the king.
Some Meaning of Words used in the poem
1 Fathom=6 Feet
Thy:- your        
knell:-  sound of the bell
Doth:- does
Fade:- disappear
Seachange:- ecological change
The main idea of the poem:-All things in the world go ecological changes. Nothings gets completely decayed and destroyed. After a change in the form, things become something extra, valuable, rich, strange, and precious.

1)Onomatopoeia:- It is a word that represents its sound. Eg:-Ding Dong (bell) Death meaningful ritually musical quality.
2)Alliteration:-It’s the repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of words in a line of poem. Eg: Full fathom five(sound ‘F’ has been repeated)
3)Assonance:-Repetition of the same vowel sound in a line of poem. Eg:- Five, Lies, repeated.

Important Questions For Neb ( Previously asked Questions)

1. Does death have any meaning in the poem? Explain.
2. How is death taken in the poem? Is it a transition from one form to another form of life? Explain.
3. Do you agree that death is not the end of life? Explain with reference to the poem.
4. What is the relation between life and art? Describe briefly.
5. Write the central idea of the poem ’Full Fathom  Five Thy Father Lies’.



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