"The Final Adventure" Comparative Essay On Two Poems: "Ulysses" By Alfred, Lord Tennyson And "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" By Dylan Thomas

964 words - 4 pages

The Final AdventureThe child crept closer to the strange bed. So many bizarre machines and tubes. Her mother was crying, but her mother's mother was dying. The child doesn't know what to think, it this good or bad? Her mother said it was good, that Grandma had been sick and this will make her suffering end. But if this is so good, why is everyone crying? This is the scene in many children's lives that cause them to begin pondering the importance of death. Some children never stop wondering about it, and as adults write poetry to help explain the complicated emotions associated with death. Two such poems are "Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson and "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by ...view middle of the document...

Tennyson's poem is narrated by a dying king who is leaving his son to rule in his place. He states in the poem that he loves his son, but that the son has new ideas that will have a great affect on the kingdom after the King is dead. He says of his son, "Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere/ Of common duties, decent not to fail/ In offices of tenderness... /He works his work, I mine" ( Tennyson p. 409). He is saying that it is good that his son will succeed in his goals, even if he does not share them. In Thomas's poem, however, the speaker is the son rather than the dying father. It is not until the end of this poem we find out why the speaker is so adamant about speaking against death. But he does not give much detail. He merely says, "And you, my father, there on the sad height,/ Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray"(Thomas lines 16-17). This line speaks to the variety of complicated feelings that the death of a loved one can invoke.Death, or the realization that it is coming soon, also produces complicated feelings in the person who is facing it. The two authors of these poems offer advice to the elderly saying that you shouldn't give up on live before it is actually over. In Tennyson's poem the message is that even "Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will," ( Tennyson p. 410) older people should lead rich lives and savor every moment, because to breathing does not constitute living. For the...

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