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Ambiguity Of The Concept Of Death: A Comparison Of 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night?And 'Because I Could Not Stop For Death

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Who does not cower in fear upon the thought of death? Almost everybody does! However, people have differing views on the abstract idea of dying. In examining the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death? by Emily Dickinson and "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night? by Dylan Thomas, it is evident that the poets use contrasting and comparative techniques in their unique presentations of the concept of death. In the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death? Emily Dickinson presents the idea of acceptance of death, whereas in the poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night? Dylan Thomas presents the idea of refusal and opposition to death. Despite the differences in theme, these two poets both use similar figurative language devices, such as metaphors, personification and alliteration as they explore their contrasting ideas pertaining to the concept of death. Through the use of their same literacy techniques, both of the authors have presented two very different perceptions on death: Dickinson's message is acceptance whereas Thomas?is rejection.

The poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death?by Emily Dickinson is composed of six quatrains; four-line stanzas. All the odd number lines are written in iambic tetrameter and have eight syllables. Meanwhile, all the even number lines are written in iambic trimeter and have six syllables. The alternating lengths of the meters (eight and six syllables) resemble a falling stream of water, allowing nature (death) to take it to wherever nature desires to. Dickinson structures her poem to present her theme of accepting death calmly and willingly. On the other hand, the poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night?by Dylan Thomas is a form of villanelle with two important refrains; "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night? and "rage, rage against the dying of the light?. Just like the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death?by Emily Dickinson, this poem is also composed of six stanzas; however, the leading five stanzas are tercets (three-line stanzas) with an ending stanza as a quatrain. Although both poems are written using iambs, a contrasting difference is evident between them; "Because I Could Not Stop For Death?is written using an alternating trimetric and tetrametric system while "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night?is written in a consistent pentameter form (five feet in each meter). Thomas structures his poem using a simple and tight formal structure to convey a sense of commanding to his father in overcoming death. The differences and similarities in the style and meter structure utilized by each poet, contributes to the presentation of their own unique ideas regarding death. Both of the poems explore the concept of death. However, through careful examination, although they are similar in a sense, one can distinguish the variation of the same theme.

Theme is considered the most important element in a poem. In the poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night? the theme undoubtedly revolves around death but approaches towards the refusal of death, encouraging readers to "rage? against the absurdity of death. Conversely, the theme of the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death?pertains to accepting death peacefully. In the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death? the speaker of the poem accepts death calmly as "He kindly stopped [es] for me [the speaker]? and takes the speaker to a carriage with nobody except a character named "immortality?. It is surprising that the speaker shows no signs of fear or grief but instead leaves behind her leisure and labour in return for "his [Death's] civility? for driving the carriage with "no haste?. On the other hand, Thomas demonstrates a different point of view of death. Thomas provides examples of wise, good, wild and grave men to extend his idea of rejection to death. For example, "wise men? should not accept death so easily until their words and actions have "forked lightning? even though they understand the inevitability of death; "grave men? who are so close to death should definitely not give in to death for they see the happiness in life (Blind eyes could blaze like meteors). By providing these four examples, Thomas pleads his father to "curse? him with his "fierce tears? and fight against death. Although both of the poems consist

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