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Attitudes to mortality - Relationship and comparison between texts.

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Introduction

Attitudes to mortality Relationship and comparison between texts Mortality is defined as state of being subject to death and it means that all men are mortal and that no can escape death if it concerns a human. The words origin comes from the late English through the old French from Latin mortalitas, with 'mort' meaning death. The following poems deal with mortality in different ways, but all showing that death is unavoidable and that often it can influence other people. Death be not proud by John Donne The voice of this poem personifies death talking to death as if it's a person and throughout the poem has an argument revealing his feeling and insulting death, making this speech a very dramatic monologue. The poem begins by contradicting death's authority, showing that he isn't afraid of death and that death isn't as powerful as it seems " Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so" " Die not poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me," is a peculiar concept to understand therefore deliberately arouses the reader's curiosity, making this poem interesting as the poet is challenging death. Donne continues by giving a reflection of death, which is the state while we are asleep and also gives an image of being dead. He explains that death takes away the good people who die young and along with them their body and their soul is delivered to heaven, which is part of Christian belief. Donne mocks death even more when he calls death " a slave of Fate, chance, kings and desperate man." This implies that death can only exist through these factors and without them death is weak and would have no control. By saying this he means that death is unfortunate one as he is to exist alongside poison, war and sickness. Form that point on he puts down death in a way that shows that death isn't all mighty as people and other means can easily imitate death as they can give that appearance of being dead, in fact he says that these means achieve this a lot better than death's "stroke". ...read more.

Middle

Shelley response to mortality is everything will not remain forever and that some human achievement can be worthless and in this poem it shows this. In order to bring this across Shelley deliberately chose the worst scenario, involving a tyrant who had the wrong ambitions and in the end his accomplishment proved to be useless. The message is to be careful what you should work for. This poem has similarities with Johnson's, which is that both tell a story and both have chosen someone who influenced what happened to other and is remembering his work, however Shelley chose a story with a moral meaning behind it. The difference is that Johnson praises his character and what others thought of him giving out little emotion, but Shelley only gives facts about his character also indicating that Ozymandias' work was not worth the effort. Another major difference is that Shelley does not deal with death, but instead writes about what happened after Ozymandias' death. Donne and Johnson did mention death and even personified it and Donne in particular wrote about death, as it was the subject of the poem. Apart form death Shelley does not refer to God or anything religious, but in Donne's and Johnson's poem religion plays an important part as it is this which gives a positive atmosphere to the poems and also offer hope to the reader. Shelley 's poem has more of a negative atmosphere partly because it does not offer hope and also uses and example with an unpleasant ending for the character and has no emotion whatsoever. Remembrance by Emily Bronte Bronte writes about someone who has died and the voice in this poem gives out sad emotions and who also tries to remember this person. She shows the effect of mortality and this can be already noticed at the start of the poem as it creates a sad image of the situation and therefore it has a sad and miserable tone accompanied with an image. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though he sees the images of happiness of other people he is not moved in any way. The last verse is recalling the first verse and starts the same way and like the first verse it is repeating, "O sea," at the end of the sentence. He thinks back to the past and is certain that those days will never return. It is when he says, "Will never," which makes the statement definite that his happiness will not come back. The breaking of the waves reflects the breaking of the heart. In comparison with Bronte's and Wordsworth's poem this poem is very similar to the other two as all three are writing about the same aspect of mortality and how it can affect someone and in all three of them death have emotional impact on the voice. Similar to William Wordsworth Tennyson believes that his feelings are worthwhile being the subject to the poem, showing a lot of emotions and among them sorrow. For that reason it is somewhat different to the first three poems, which don't show any emotions. My personal favourite is the Ozymandias, because he writes he writes about a story, which it is not personal or emotional like the other ones. The fact that he chose a story such as this appeals to me and he also makes it a moral story, allowing the reader to think about the meaning. I also like the way he puts his point across about mortality and he does it effectively, without writing a very long poem and making it pretentious. As there isn't any emotion included Shelley does not make it a depressing poem, which many of the other poems are, even though there isn't a good ending for the character or offers any hope. What makes this poem not depressing is that there is no drama or any love involved. The poem is very descriptive as well and so makes it easy for the reader to imagine what is happening and create a picture of the surroundings. ...read more.

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