Chapter 11 – The Inchcape Rock

20 Dec 2020 7:57 am

Chapter 11, The Inchcape Rock, english, hsc, maharashtra board, latest edition, full solution,

Chapter 11: The Inchcape Rock

1.Prepare a word register related to marine life.


sailors, salt, waves, tide, coral reefs, octopus, sea-weed, compass, starboard, port, coast, harbour, maritime, nautical mile

2.The functions of a lighthouse are 


  • To show the direction
  • To keep vigil
  • To warn ships of the dangers during darkness
  • To send signals to the ships by blinking the light in Morse code

3.Discuss in pairs the various famous rocks in the world and mention the places where they are.

Famous RockPlace
Balancing RockMahabalipuram


Famous RockPlace
Balancing RockMahabalipuram
Aphrodite’s RockPaphos, Cyprus
Old Harry RocksIsle of Purbeck, England
Uluru/Ayers RockNorthern Territory, Australia

4.Narrate in class a story about someone who destroyed or spoilt someone else’s good work.


There was once a grumpy man, who didn’t like anyone in his neighbourhood. Whenever the people would organise a community event, they would invite him to help and try to make him feel a part of the community. However, the grumpy man never attended any of the events. He stayed in his house all the time, never talking to anyone. Eventually, the neighbourhood stopped inviting him to any gatherings. Once when his neighbours had organised a funfair, the grumpy man, out of spite, destroyed the entire set-up the night before the event. The next morning, when everyone saw what had happened, they knew that the grumpy man must have been behind it. They let him off with a warning that the next time he caused destruction; they would report him to the police. As the grumpy man had spoiled everyone’s good work, they all decided never to speak to him again.

5.Discuss in pairs and groups the following expressions. Take the help of your teacher.

  1. As you sow so shall you reap
  2. Crime gets its own punishment
  3. What goes around comes around
  4. Tit for tat
  5. Evil digs a pit for others but falls into the same


The given expressions have the traditional theory of Karma at their core sooner or later we will have to bear the consequences of all our actions, whether good or bad. So, instead of thinking ill of others, we should focus on being good towards them, as we will eventually be treated the same way we treat others.

1.Narrate in groups the scene described in the beginning of the poem.


The scene described in the beginning of the poem is best captured in the first two stanzas, wherein a calm scenario has been depicted. The air, the sea and the ship are in a peaceful state. The sea-waves are so feeble that they don’t send any sound or shock. They do not rise or fall enough to cause the Inchcape bell to ring.

Complete the following statement:

1.The Abbot of Aberbrothok placed a bell on the Inchcape Rock because _______.


The Abbot of Aberbrothok placed a bell on the Inchcape Rock because he wanted the ships to stay safe from collision with the Inchcape Rock that used to be submerged in the water during high tide.

2.The mariners were grateful to the Abbot of Aberbrothok because _______.


The mariners were grateful to the Abbot of Aberbrothok because he saved them from possible shipwrecks by installing the warning bell on Inchcape Rock.

3.The result of the thick haze that covered the sky was that ______.


The result of the thick haze that covered the sky was that sir Ralph and his crew couldn’t see the sun on high.

4.The Rover in frustration pulled his hair and cursed himself because ______.


The Rover in frustration pulled his hair and cursed himself because he was going to meet his death only because of his own wicked act of cutting off the Inchcape Bell.

1.Given below are the events that give the theme of the poem in a jumbled form. Arrange in a proper sequence as per their occurrence.

  1. The waves were so small that they did not move enough to ring the bell at the Inchcape Rock.
  2. The Abbot of Aberbrothok had placed the bell on a buoy on the rock.
  3. There was a thick haze spread over the atmosphere.
  4. Ralph bent over from the boat.
  5. Sir Ralph cursed himself in despair and in his frustration tore his hair.


b. The Abbot of Aberbrothok had placed the bell on a buoy on the rock.

a. The waves were so small that they did not move enough to ring the bell at the Inchcape Rock.

d. Ralph bent over from the boat.

c. There was a thick haze spread over the atmosphere.

e. Sir Ralph cursed himself in despair and in his frustration tore his hair.

2.Describe the qualities of the Abbot of Aberbrothok in your own words.


  1. Benevolent
  2. Big-hearted
  3. Well-wisher
  4. Caring
  5. Practical
  6. Clever
  7. Selfless

3.Jealousy’ is the most incurable defect. Justify.


‘Jealousy’ means ‘envy’ in its most negative form. It originates primarily from lack of self-confidence and is difficult to get rid of. Another reason for jealousy is poor self-image. The insecurity arising out of the fear of being rejected by someone leads to jealousy too. It upsets our social circle and turns friends to foes. This can further alienate a person, making him/her even more jealous of other people due to one’s own sense of inadequacy. All these insecurities, which stem from jealousy, can drive a person to cause harm to others. A lot of self-training is required to get rid of the negative emotion of jealousy. As long as a person holds a low opinion of self, he/she can never be immune to this defect. Even with a lot of practice, one is bound to feel this emotion at some point in their lives. Thus, jealousy is the most incurable defect.

4.But the Rover’s mirth was wickedness’. Explain this line in your own words with the help of the poem.


‘But the Rover’s mirth was wickedness’


Though Sir Ralph was in a cheerful mood and his heart was full of joy, the reason behind his happiness was a wicked plan that he had just devised.

Some words in the poem are related to different parts of a ship or a mariner’s life. Given below is the meaning of those terms. Identify the word.

1.Helps in steering the ship


Helps in steering the ship – sails

2.The lowest part of the ship


The lowest part of the ship – keel

3.Floating object that shows direction


Floating object that shows direction – buoy

4.Another name for a ship


Another name for a ship – boat/ vessel

5.Sinking sound


Sinking sound – gurgling


A ballad is a song that tells a story, and it can be dramatic, funny or romantic.

Traditionally the ballad has been considered a folkloric verse narrative which has strong associations with communal dancing. Generally, the term is used for a narrative poem which uses an elliptical and highly stylized mode of narration. The technique of repetition with variation may play an important part in it.

From the 18th century onwards, collections of folk / ‘popular ballads’ began to be made. The form was taken up by some of the most influential poets of the late 18th century as a folkloric form of expression.

A typical ballad consists of stanzas that contain a quatrain, or four poetic lines. Some ballads have a refrain, or a repeated chorus, just like a song does. The rhyme scheme adds musical quality to the poem. One famous ballad is ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.



Select the appropriate figure of speech from the box given below and complete the table.

Metaphor, Alliteration, Repetition, Personification, Inversion, Simile, Apostrophe, Onomatopoeia
ExamplesFigure of SpeechExplanation
1. Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair.AlliterationThe close repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words


ExamplesFigure of SpeechExplanation
1. Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair.AlliterationThe close repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words
2. No stir in the air, no stir in the seaAlliterationThe close repetition of the sound of ‘s’.
RepetitionThe words ‘No stir in the’ have been repeated in the line.
3. On a buoy in the storm it floated and swungInversionThe order of words has been rearranged for a poetic effect. The correct order should be ‘It floated and swung on a buoy in the storm’.
PersonificationThe ‘Inchcape bell’ has been given the animate quality of ‘floating’ and ‘swinging’
4. Down sank the bell with a gurgling sound.InversionThe order of words has been rearranged for a poetic effect. The correct order should be ‘The bell sank down with a gurgling sound.’
OnomatopoeiaThe word ‘gurgling’ denotes the sound made by the bell as it sunk in the ocean.
5. The Devil below was ringing his knell.OnomatopoeiaThe word ‘ringing’ denotes the sound made by the bell.
6. The Ship was still as she could beAlliterationClose repetition of syllable ‘s’
PersonificationThe ship has been personified with the use o the feminine pronoun ‘she’.
7. On the deck the Rover takes his stand,InversionThe order of words has been rearranged for a poetic effect. The correct order should be ‘The Rover takes his stand on the deck’.
8. Oh Christ!ApostropheA direct address has been made to an entity that is not pres

1.Write an appreciation of the poem, ‘The Inchcape Rock’.


Appreciation of the poem ‘The Inchcape Rock’

‘The Inchcape Rock’ by Robert Southey is a ballad of seventeen stanzas, also called quatrains as they are made of four lines each. The primary theme of the poem is that those who do bad things meet with a bad end at the hands of fate. The idea of ‘what goes around, comes around’ is at the core of the poem. The ballad is composed in a narrative style and the rhyming couplets follow the rhyme scheme ‘aabb’. The poem also contains a lot of old English words. The poet embellishes his composition with a number of figures of speech such as Alliteration, Antithesis, Apostrophe, Consonance, Exclamation, Inversion, Metaphor, Onomatopoeia, Personification, Repetition, Simile, Synecdoche, and Transferred Epithet. The highlight of the poem is the vivid imagery of the ‘bright, shining sun’ at the beginning to that of ‘hazy sky’ at the end, or that of the ‘steady ship’, ‘light waves’, ‘green ocean’, ‘birds wheeling around’, ‘sinking ship’, etc. that the poet employs to convey the message of poetic justice. Its smart usage makes the readers feel like they are a part of the scene being described. The use of symbolism also adds to the beauty of the poem where the Abbot is presented as the symbol of all that is good, while Sir Ralph symbolizes the evil. The Inchcape Rock is symbolic of the trap that Sir Ralph had laid down for others, which he himself fell into. Through the poem has been composed in the 18th century, the message conveyed by it is relevant even today  that one should steer clear of wickedness and malice towards others, as that could be the cause of one’s own doom. The poem is didactic in nature, meaning that it conveys a moral through the story depicted in it. The moral of this poem is ‘As you sow, so shall you reap’. In my opinion, the poem is timeless, as its relevance can never diminish. For as long as humans suffer from the vice of jealousy, this poem will keep reminding them of its consequences.

2.Compose 4 to 6 lines on ‘sea’.



The land once pricked the sea,

Your waves from the shore flee,

And here it’s me,

Grounded unlike thee.

The sea in all its patience quipped in glee,

Oh I see!

Expand the idea on your own on the following topic.

1.Pride goes before a fall


Each one of us is truly special. Our achievements in life are the result of painstaking efforts, but one must never be blinded their achievements. Wise men have rightly said that ‘Pride goes before a fall’, meaning a show of vanity and over-confidence more often than not destroys a person. Basking in the glory of our success is only natural, but what takes us higher should also make us humble. This valuable lesson is taught to us through the popular story of ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’. Gloating in his ability to run fast, the hare shamefully loses to a tortoise! Thus, we realize that ‘Pride makes way for one’s undoing’.

2.Time and tide wait for none


The proverb ‘Time and tide wait for none’ illustrates the significance of time. We may take time for granted but it keeps slipping away. Young or old, rich or poor, time does not discriminate; it does not wait for anyone! Likewise, tide, too, waits for none. Regardless of where you stand, the tide will take its course. It comes and goes when it has to. Similarly, life goes on, and to fulfil our dreams we need to make the most of every passing moment. We need to focus only on what matters and disregard anything which is detrimental to our development. This is also emphasized by the proverb, ‘Make hay while the sun shines’, which tells us to make the most of every single moment that we have.

3.Man proposes, God disposes


It is said that ‘Man is the architect of his life’. Man is a constantly evolving being, planning meticulously, and moving at a rapid pace. Even so, not all plans made by man work out. ‘Man proposes; God disposes of’ is a proverb that tells us who the Ultimate Master is. Man etches out various plans, but even the best-laid plans can fail. The bright side though, is that God has his own plans. There is a time and place for everything. The universe and everything in it have been woven into one big complex plan. It unfolds when a higher power (God) wants it to unfold. Sometimes man’s plans may align with God’s plans and sometimes they might not. At such times, man must remember that God will make everything right. He will ensure that man ends up where he was meant to be. However, this doesn’t mean that we stop taking efforts, because after all ‘God helps those who help themselves’.

4.Look before you leap


If we take a shot in the dark, we are most likely to miss it. This is what the proverb, ‘Look before you leap’ seeks to convey. It warns us about the consequences of acting in haste and encourages us to make a well-informed choice before taking any action. Life may present us with various situations but limited options. This may prompt us to make certain rushed decisions. Even so, our focus must always be on making the right choice rather than the easy one. As tempting as it may seem, there are truly no shortcuts to success. Even a vast army can be vanquished if they underestimate the strength and tactics of their enemy. Remember that ‘haste is waste’. Hence, it is better to exercise caution and make a choice after considering all the facts, rather than repenting it later!

1.The poem begins with:

‘Without either sign or sound of their shock,
The waves flowed over the Inchcape Rock.’
It ends with:
‘Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock.’
On the basis of these lines explain the change in mood of the poem.


The given opening lines from stanza 2 and the closing lines from stanza 15 marks a near-dramatic shift in the mood of the poem. The former set of lines depicts a perfectly calm sea, whose waves are so feeble that they do not even manage to move the Inchcape Bell. The latter set of lines portrays a shift in the conditions of the same sea, which has turned so rough that Sir Ralph’s ship has gone adrift. Though the wind has subsided, the ship violently collides with the Inchcape Rock, which is invisible due to the rise in water level.
1.(i) Read the following tree diagram and find out more information about opportunities in ‘on and off the shore’ the Indian Navy.
(ii) Required qualifications and various fields/opportunities for women to join in the Navy.
(iii) Colleges that provide education in oceanography – 
  1. National Institute of Oceanography, Goa
  2. National Institute of Oceanography, Mumbai
  3. MBA (Logistic Shipping Management), IIKM Business School, Calicut, Kerala
  4. Indira Gandhi College of Distance Education IGCDE Tamil Nadu.


(i) On Shore and Off Shore Opportunities in the Indian Navy:
  • Executive Level:
A lot of opportunities are available at the Executive level in the Indian Navy. The various specializations available are:
  1. Gunnery & Missiles
  2. Anti – Submarine Warfare
  3. Navigation and direction
  4. Communications
  5. Aviation
  6. Submarine
  7. Hydrography
  8. Diving
  9. Law
  10. Air Traffic Control
  11. Naval Armament Inspection
  12. Logistics
  13. Information Technology
  • Ocean Engineering:
This field of engineering deals with the design, research and development, testing, analysis, operations, maintenance of structures, marine vehicles and other systems onshore and offshore.
  • Marine Research:
This branch is responsible for conducting deep-sea exploration, studying the effect of climatic changes, atmospheric physics, land and water geology, mineralogy, bacteriology, radio-transmission studies, underwater acoustics, conducting routine data collection, and building facilities and expertise in different disciplines of oceanography.
[Note: The information given above is only for reference. Students are expected to visit various websites and find out more information about the various opportunities available with the Indian Navy.]



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