Poetry Comparitive Essay with the Discourse of Death.

Essay by fantazminHigh School, 12th gradeA, May 2010

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What happens after we die? This question has no doubt crossed your mind at least once, and you are not alone. Numerous books, poems, songs, sonnets and movies have been created which explore discourse of death, all with various perspectives and opinions. This discourse is not new and has been written about for centuries. Two examples are John Donne's Sonnet X and Death Cab for Cuties I Will Follow you into the Dark.

John Donne's sonnet X delves into the discourse of death. Although it was published in 1633, three years after his passing, Michael J. Cummings (publisher of a study guide website cummingsstudyguides.net) said it was thought to be written in around 1601 - 1610. It was around that time there was much death looming in London and this undoubtedly would have had some influence on why this poem was written. For example in 1603 London was hit with the bubonic plague killing 38,000 people.

Donne writes with intentions to rid people's belief of death as "mighty and dreadful" but instead something much more peaceful and spiritual "one short sleep past, we wake eternally". Linked throughout this poem are Donne's evident strong Christian beliefs which invites all with similar beliefs to read on receptively.

Through the entirety of the sonnet an emotion of such power over death is maintained. Donne addresses death as his inferior and thus encouraging others to cease their fears in death also. This is displayed in the line "Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me." Donne patronizingly writes "poor Death" this is an example of personification which I will discuss later, he then continues to belittle Death who does not in actual fact kill but instead enables a whole new life of immortality. Death is also written...