In the poem “Break, break, break”, Alfred Lord Tennyson represents grief of a man, who is thinking of his close one who passed away, at the sea. By using the setting, tone, and the setting, he contrasts man and the sea. The contrast emphasizes men’s short-lived life while the sea remains what it is.
Even though the setting suggests peacefulness, the speaker feels sad. The setting of the poem is the scene when “the fisherman’s boy” is playing “with his sister” and “the sailor” is about to sail. He mourns that the day when one “is dead [w]ill never come back to me.” He compares his sadness with the sea.
He uses the stability of the sea by employing regular rhyme. In every stanza, the second and fourth lines rhyme; “Sea” and “me”, “play” and “bay” and “hill” and “still”. This implies the sea remains from the ancient times although the tide breaks. Tennyson uses the image of the sea to reinforce the feeling of sadness that man’s life is short.