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Compare / Contrast Essay

1300 words - 6 pages

Issa Haddad
Jason Sebacher
ENGL102
27 November 2012
Compare/Contrast Essay
In Dylan Thomas', “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”, he entreats his father to not succumb quietly to death. He uses the metaphor, "the dying of the light" (3) to illustrate that he feels death to be a destructive power seeking to put out the "light" which is the human life force. That he feels this destruction should not be passively accepted is first shown when he states, "old age should burn and rave at the close of day" (2). He employs the metaphor, "close of day" (2) to show he feels death is an end to human consciousness as he knows it. He also uses "old age" (2) to personify the person/people who ...view middle of the document...

The simile, "blind eyes could blaze like meteors" (14) further indicates the hope that death may yet be conquered. In the final stanza, Thomas pleads for his father to "curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears" (17). "Fierce tears" (17) are another oxymoron, perhaps alluding to his father's weary state. In saying this, he asks his father to accept his son's plea to leave off weariness and sickness, and to "not go gentle into that good night" (18). Thomas wishes for his father to follow both the wish of his son, and the example of other men in fighting against death. This poem is somewhat similar to Donne's, “Death Be Not Proud”, in that it views death as an entity that can be overcome. However, it is wholly dissimilar to Dickinson's, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”. They seems to be almost complete opposites, as Dickinson views death as a benevolent companion, and Thomas sees death as a malevolent force to do battle with.
In “Death Be Not Proud”, John Donne puts forth the idea that death is a thing/entity to be almost completely scorned. Certainly he does not treat death as a fearsome thing to hide from. He feels death to be an incidental thing to be endured for a short time, and then left behind on the path to eternal life. Donne uses personification throughout the entire poem to "humanize" death. By addressing death in the second person (thee, thou, thy), Donne shows he believes death to be an almost equal entity to himself, albeit one which relies on trickery, misery and bravado to earn the titles of "mighty and dreadful" (2). Donne views death as little more than a "slave" (9) who is ruled by "fate, chance, kings, and desperate men" (9). He feels that death's true domain is "poison, war and sickness" (10), surely nothing to compare with the eternal life Donne is convicted awaits the human race after death. He uses the "short sleep" (13) metaphor to further express his opinion that death holds no true power to take pride in. Moreover, he employs the metaphor, "Death, thou shall die." (14) to finalize his conviction that death holds no sway over his immortal soul. Donne also alliterates freely throughout his poem. Some examples are, “for those who think'st thou dost overthrow" (3) and "one short sleep past, we wake eternally” (13).
As previously stated, I think this poem is somewhat similar to Thomas' poem, yet only in a very basic way. While Thomas gives a sense of struggling against death furiously, Donne conveys a peaceful, almost mocking sense that death is all smoke and mirrors. He feels death is more a thing to be briefly tolerated rather than fought against. This poem is...

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