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Which three poems show alternate views of death, and how are these views portrayed?

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Introduction

Which three poems show alternate views of death, and how are these views portrayed? "Remember", "Plena Timoris", and "Refugee Mother and Child" all depict alternate outlooks on death, yet similarly emanate from the prospect of lost love. "Remember" by Christina Rossetti is about the uncertainty when anticipating death; "Plena Timoris" by Thomas Hardy is about the death of a woman due to the transience of love and the effect of this death on another woman; conveying a similar stance to "Refugee Mother and Child" by Chinua Achebe, which is about the death of a child in times of famine and destitution, as both view death in a negative light. "Plena Timoris", or "a woman full of fear and dread", revolves around the theme of the transience of love and warns of the dangers of becoming too attached to your lover. The melancholic tone of the poem is immediately inferred, as the use of Latin in the title automatically indicates a certain formality. Indications of the fact that it was written during the Victorian period are also made evident through use of language such as "tryst", suggesting that the lovers are meeting in secret. This reflects the discreetness of courtship during the Victorian era, as a man could not publicly declare his adoration for a woman, nor could she respond. ...read more.

Middle

Comparatively to "Plena Timoris", Rossetti is torn between love and death; on one hand, she seems to be truly devoted to her lover, and begs him to remember her once she is dead; on the other hand, she seems nonchalant in her compliance to tell him to forget her just the same, as shown in the opening line, "Remember me when I am gone away". In contrast to "Plena Timoris" however, she is not frightened of death, nor scared of what will become of her, and needless to say death has not made her reconsider her relationship with the one she loves. Unlike "Plena Timoris", "Remember" is written as a sonnet, implicating that Rossetti is trying to be calm and rational about death, and she is doing so by controlling her inclinations into an ordered poem. Again, in contrast to "Plena Timoris", the sonnet indicates that this poem was written during the Renaissance era, a time when love and courtship was openly celebrated opposed to in secret. In this sonnet, the octet is used to depict the problem, "You understand it will be late to counsel then or pray", in contrast to the sestet where Rossetti offers a solution; "Yet...do not grieve". As well as this, the regular rhythm throughout the poem keeps with the formal structure, and differentiates between her irregular contradictory thoughts. ...read more.

Conclusion

Contrast is also used to put emphasis on the, aforementioned, horrors of famine, as seen in "washed" and "unwashed". Her love for her son is yet again accentuated in the line "as she combed the rust-coloured hair left on his skull". The fact that she is combing his hair shows that she deeply cares for and has not given up hope for him yet. However, this is conflicted by the simile "now she did it like putting flowers on a tiny grave", as it in fact shows that deep inside she has faced reality and knows that her son "she soon would have to forget". In all three poems a great number of different linguistic styles and techniques are used by the poets to portray their alternate views of death. "Plena Timoris" successfully juxtaposes the living with the dead to emphasize the transience of love; the contrast between staying with the one you love and death results in an ambiguous yet slightly more optimistic outlook on death in "Remember", whilst similarly in "Refugee Mother and Child", the images of death are contrasted with the loving and caring impression of the mother created by Chinua Achebe. All in all, these alternate depictions of death are not only successfully accentuated by contrast, but by use of vivid language and imagery as well. ...read more.

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