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Views of Death


             Death has existed ever since the beginning of life, for everything that is born must die due to the flow which nature takes. Death has been looked at in many different ways by different people. Dylan Thomas's poem, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," tells the reader to live his life to the fullest and fight against death while, in the other hand, William Cullen Bryant's "Thanatopsis" tells its audience not to fear death and to embrace .
             it when it arrives. At the same time, in William Shakespeare's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy from his play "Hamlet," the main character struggles with whether to live or to take his own life. Although these poems view death differently, they all have similarities which link them together and at the same time have their differences.
             These three literary works share the commonality that they all deal with the issue of death. In fact, the word Thanatopsis is itself Greek for a meditation upon death. Bryant personifies nature by stating how nature "speaks a various language," how she has "a voice of gladness, and a smile and eloquence of beauty." Bryant portrays nature as a woman who is here to provide comfort for us in our "gayer hours" or in times of our "darker musings." Bryant is joined by Shakespeare when he states that we "bare the whips and scorns of time." .
             The three poems show different feelings towards death such as Thomas's "fight" against it, Bryant's embracement of it, and Shakespeare's uncertainty. In spite these differences, all three of them agree of death to be peaceful and pleasant. In Thomas's poem, although the speaker doesn't want his father to die, he informs the reader of his belief that death is something pleasant when he refers to it as the "good night." In Bryant's poem, he tells his audience that one should not be afraid of death because death itself is a .
             part of nature. He says that when thoughts of death come "over thy spirit" and makes you "grow sick at heart" you should go out "under the open sky, and list to Nature's teachings, while from all around.


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Tom Lenk | Private Practice | Fatal Countdown: RESET