Speaker and setting

Innehållsförteckning

Speaker

The speaker of “Rule, Britannia!” by James Thomson does not have a clear identity. The poem is written in the third person, and the speaker does not play an active role in the poem. Instead, the speaker uses direct address to speak to the personified nation of Britain: “To thee belongs the rural reign; / Thy cities shall with commerce shine” (ll. 25-26). 

Originally, this poem was part of a musical play about Alfred the Great, an Anglo-Saxon English king. The play is set in the year 878 AD. At the end of the play, Alfred wins a battle and encourages his people to continue conquering other nations. In response, the people sing “Rule, Britannia!”, celebrating Britain and looking forward to a future where Britain is a global power. 

The speaker is t...

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