Eagle Symbolism

Eagle Symbolism

Eagle, as symbolism in literature, represents rich themes and concepts that are found across all cultures and time periods. The eagle is a powerful symbol of strength, freedom, and majesty. As the eagle is the only bird that soars above the cloud during the storm, it is used as an illustration of overcoming difficulties. Eagles are also known for their excellent flight and keen eyesight, which symbolizes qualities such as vision, foresight, and insight. According to ancient Greek mythology, the eagle was associated with Zeus and served as his messenger. In Native American traditions, the eagle symbolized spiritual connection and is still considered a symbol of courage and wisdom.

The word ‘eagle’ originates from the Old English word ‘eolh’, which is derived from the Old French word ‘egle’, and from the Latin word ‘aquila’ means black eagle, which is rooted in the Proto-Germanic word ‘alhaz’ means eagle.


In Native American indigenous mythology eagle symbolizes individuality, bravery, and wisdom. The white-tailed eagle is a symbol of wisdom and connection to the divine. Nordic people believed that the eagle represented wisdom and knowledge. According to Norse mythology, the eagle is associated with the god of wisdom and poetry, Odin. As per the Celtic traditions, the eagle symbolizes focus, wisdom, and knowledge.


An eagle flying in a dream symbolizes freedom. Dreaming of a white eagle represents happiness, innocence, and new beginnings. The Native Americans considered the eagle as a great spirit and majestic creature. They also believe the eagle in dreams represents the divine and messengers from the spirit world. If an eagle attacks someone in a dream, it symbolizes a warning about the future. Two eagles fighting in a dream is a symbol of inner conflict and struggles. A black eagle in a dream symbolizes sadness and a warning of a close person passing away in the near future.


In Greek mythology, people believe eagles were considered ferocious creatures and symbolize wonderment and fear. Eagles also did the bidding of Zeus, the king of all the Greek gods, who are associated with giant eagles. According to Roman mythology eagle is a symbol of the messenger of Jupiter and the symbol of war. In Nordic mythology, the eagle was connected to the king of all the Norse gods and goddesses, especially Odin, who would turn into an eagle to fly to earth and consume the elixir of life. In Hindu mythology, the Garuda has the appearance of the eagle, which is the ride and emblem of Lord Vishnu. The story of Garuda’s birth is explained in the epic of Mahabharata. In Japanese mythology, an eagle is considered as a good omen. According to Arab mythology, the eagle symbolizes the roc as it has enough strength to lift heavy weights and carry an elephant in its talons.

Strength & Power

According to Christianity, in the Bible, the eagle symbolizes hope and strength, which is mentioned in Psalm 103. In China, an eagle represents strength, and its tail feathers carry strong magic. Combined with a bear, it is considered the symbol of a hero, also known as ‘ying’. Eagles are considered a spiritual power, speed, and strength in Hinduism. In Ancient Egypt culture, eagles were associated with the sun god, Ra, and it symbolizes strength and protection. According to  Ancient Persia eagle symbolizes royalty, power, and strength.


The Eagle’s vision is eight times greater than humans. Hence, Native American tribes believe the eagle is powerful and has honor, bravery, and vision. In Norse mythology, the eagle represents leadership and vision.

Loyalty & Devotion

The United States bald eagle represents a nation’s loyalty and democracy. According to Romans, culture eagle is a symbol of loyalty, strength, and courage. In the Native American culture, the eagle symbolizes a messenger and loyalty, wisdom, and freedom.  As per Hinduism, the eagle is a symbol of Garuda. It is often depicted as a protector against evil and associated with loyalty and wisdom.  Also, Garuda, the eagle, is a rider of Lord Vishnu, and it represents devotion.

Examples of Eagle as Symbolism in Literature

Example #1

Eagle Plain By Robert Francis

The American eagle is not aware he is
the American eagle. He is never tempted
to look modest.
When orators advertise the American eagle’s
virtues, the American eagle is not listening.
This is his virtue.

In this example, the eagle is a symbol of discipline, honesty, and hard work.

Example #2

Eagle Poem By Joy Harjo

To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.

In this poem, the eagle is a symbol of positivity, purity, self-care, and growth.

Example #3

Eaglet By Gustav Davidson

Go and attain
Your summits through the arch
Of your brain
In your amazing march.

Austerely delicate,
Sanely furious one,
Ranger of heaven, mate
Of the white sun!

The above poem represents the eagle as zeal, hard work, destiny, and struggle.

Example #4

The Eagle By Alfred Lord Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

This poem is written by one of the most famous poets, Lord Tennyson. Here the eagle symbolizes bravery, survival, and victory.

Example #5

The Eagle By James Daly

If you would see him,
Wait on the desolate crags
Where the near clouds are cold.
Wait, and over the third peak
At dawn you will see a greater
Than yourself.

In this example, the eagle represents survival and victory

Example #6

The Creator By Dejan Stojanovic

The eyesight for an eagle is what thought is to a man.

In this example, the author is praising the eyesight of the eagle and comparing it to human thought. Here eagle is a symbol of power, persistence, and success.

Example #7

The Essence of Faith: Daily Inspirational Quotes By Gift Gugu Mona

Faith gives you the courage to mount up with wings like an eagle.

This example is based on Christianity and is borrowed from the book of Isaiah. Here the eagle means strength and perseverance.

Example #8

Prayer: An Antidote for the Inner Man By Gift Gugu Mona

Train your mind to desire prayer and teach your soul to rejoice in prayer. When the strong winds come against you, prayer will make you soar like an eagle and when the enemy comes for you, prayer will cause you to roar like a lion.

Similar to the example above, eagles here are the symbol of strength, perseverance, survival, and faith.