Thanatopsis Poem Analysis

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Thanatophobia is the scientific term for the fear of death, and it is a very common fear among people. In the two poems “Thanatopsis” by William Cullen Bryant and “Do Not Go Gentle Into That good night” by Dylan Thomas, it is obvious that the authors of these poems deal with the fear of death in different ways. William Cullen Bryant shows that death is something that should be accepted while Dylan Thomas shows death as something that should be resisted. This is shown through their themes, tones, and rhyme schemes. Both of these authors discuss death in their poems; however, they both have different outlooks on death. In the poem “Thanatopsis,” the theme is that death is peaceful because “heaven” is “shining on the sad abodes of death” (lines 48-49). Bryant believes that heaven exists and that death is easier because people have something to look forward to after life. Bryant looks forward to “[being] gathered to thy side” and being with God in heaven (74). Bryant’s theme shows that one should welcome death because there is something better on the other side. However, the theme in “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” is that you should not accept death. Thomas is angry towards death, and he believes that one should fight “against the dying of the light” (3). In an article written written by Richard R. Werry, from College English Vol. 11, Werry shows that “Death is a very present sojourner in Thomas’ poetry” and that Thomas intends to “conquer” death by not giving in (Werry). Thomas does not want to die, and he shows this throughout “Do not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” These two themes show how different people accept death. While both of these poems discuss how an author deals with death, they both show death ... ... middle of paper ... ...d line rhyme. One example of this is in the first stanza. “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light” (1-3). In these lines “night” and “light” rhyme. This rhyme scheme gives the poem a sense of order which helps to establish a feeling of anger towards death for the reader. These two different rhyme schemes help to establish how the reader feels as they are reading the poem. Each of these poems are different their themes, tones, and rhyme schemes, but they both show how the author perceives death. “Thanatopsis” shows death as something that should be embraced while “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” shows death as something that should be confronted. Death is a major fear that many people have, and these two poems both show ways that this fear can be conquered.
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