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"Fall Of Icarus": Microcosm Of Contemporary Philippines

Essay by 24  •  January 2, 2011  •  968 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,737 Views

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In the present, our country is amidst issues and dilemmas: ZTE Broadband deal, the case of Sumilao farmers, unemployment, and many more. Moreover, problems are also seen outside the country's borders: war, unemployment, hunger, and the like. Many solutions have been suggested to ameliorate what has been happening in this world. For example, in Ateneo, the religious sectors have been conducting prayer vigils to support the witnesses in the ZTE deal and to fight with the Sumilao farmers in reclaiming their land. But, do the students in the Ateneo join the prayer vigils and rallies in Katipunan to show support for truth and accountability? Or they just go home after school, watching movies on their widescreen television? Are they aware that other people are suffering? This tragic fact lies within W.H. Auden's poem entitled "MusÐ"©e des Beaux Arts". The poem basically relays a simple message: humankind's suffering through indifference. In order to convey such message, the poet uses elements such as tone, imagery, allusion, binary opposition, and diction.

One may ask as to why the poet uses "MusÐ"©e des Beaux Arts" instead of "Fall of Icarus". The author uses such in order to attain his objective of making the reader imagine that he/she were in the poet shoes, walking in the museum and being struck by a painting. He is handing out his experience of visiting the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels to his readers. With this, any reader is somewhat placed inside the museum looking intently on the painting. Also, since the poem is a dramatic monologue, the poet is speaking aloud to a silent listener; hence, the tone, which is between tragic and certainty, is established. First, it is tragic because it talks about suffering and indifference of people. Second, the poet is giving off an atmosphere of certainty and authority making him credible and true.

The poem can be divided into two parts. The first verse of the paragraph talks about human suffering and how the Old Masters have portrayed and understood human suffering, while the second verse points out Peter Brueghel's painting to reinforce his claims.

In the first part, the poet uses an allusion to the Old Masters and how well they know suffering. The term Old Master is a term for a fully trained painter and considered a master in his own craft. Most important Old Masters are Leonardo da Vinci, Pieter Bruegel, Jacopo Tintoretto, and many more. These painters were exceptional not only in technique and methodology but also in the way they portrayed society. Moreover, the poet personifies "suffering" giving it a "human position". This basically means that suffering lies within humans Ð'- it is experienced by everyone. Furthermore, "how it takes place/ While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully all along" are lines that portray the apathetic attitude of man to other's sufferings. He tells how the old are passionately waiting for the miraculous birth of a new child while there are children who feel that they shouldn't have been born. The author's diction or choice of words plays a big role in examples like this. Auden uses the words passionately and miraculous, in which both terms exhibit powerful and compelling emotion, to further reinforce the importance of birth to old people. Conversely, some children think that their existence in this world is unimportant and just skate on the edge of the wood where danger lies; here lies a binary opposition: young

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