How does John Donne and Emily Dickinson portrays the theme of Death in 'Death be not proud' and 'Because I could not stop for Death'

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Explore the ways in which John Donne and Emily Dickinson vividly portray death through language in ‘Death Be Not Proud’ and ‘Because I Could Not Stop for Death’

In because I could not stop for death, Emily Dickinson employed the use of extended metaphor of a journey through space and time. On various occasion, it is suggested that the author believed that Death ‘stopped for me’. The idea of having more time is repeated throughout the poem. However, this obvious illusion ended when, in the last lines of the poem, the speaker realizes that ‘the Horses’ Heads Were Towards Eternity’. This illusion could be used to portray the entity of Death as being deceitful and unreliable. However, this description of Death juxtaposed the speaker’s description earlier on in the poem. Instead of the deceiving evil that was suggested in through when the speaker ‘first surmised’ that the horses’ heads ‘were toward eternity’, it was shown to be ‘kindly’ and have ‘civility’. This could further contribute to the ‘deceitful’ persona of Death, showing that he is not what he seems to be, that he is always pretending to be something that he is not.

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It could be that the personification of death as a physical entity and the repetitive capitalization of ‘Death’ is used to portray the abstract concept of death into something tangible and recognizable. This can be seem through the lines ‘Because I could not stop for Death’, ‘He knew no haste’ and ‘he passed us’. The personification could be used to emphasize further on Death’s authority and importance. The capitalization of ‘He’ could be stated to emphasize that Death and the concept of being dead is very real and not something made up. Not only he is shown as a ...

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