Romantic Poets’ Views on Mortality
He obviously believes in the proposition that life apparently is short with death and change being the only things that are certain in life. His poem shares the melancholy mood of Lord Byron in “January 22nd. Missolonghi”. Byron seems to mourn the loss of youth that is something which cannot be saved, when he says, “My days are in the yellow leaf; The flowers and fruits of Love are gone;”(Byron 5-6). Now that his youth is over, he believes his life is over and not worth continuing. It is as if Shelley and Byron are wishing to avoid the inevitable annihilation of their life’s force.
In contrast, the eight-year-old girl in “We Are Seven” illustrates a belief in continuance of life on earth after death. She agrees that her siblings died. She however does not accept their departure from this world when she states, “Nay, we are seven! ” (Wordsworth 69). She believes they can still hear her talk, and she spends time at their graves. She does not accept the truth of their death, because their bodies are still near her. Each of the three poems has a different perspective on the way one dies. Byron has the most apparent opinion of going out in a blaze of glory.
Romantic Poets’ Views on Mortality Essay Example
He proposes that a soldier’s death is the most noble when he writes, “A Soldier’s Grave, for thee the best;” (Byron 38). Byron obviously does not want to die as an old man. He seems to be wallowing in self-pity about growing old and ending his life in an uneventful death. While addressing himself, he reveals his own thoughts when he states, “If thou regret’st thy Youth, why live? ”(Byron 33). He prefers a noble, sudden death, a death that he chooses rather than a slow erosion of the human body and mind. He implies that dying as a soldier is nobler than dying as an old man.On the other hand, Wordsworth describes the death of the two children through the eyes of the little girl in a matter of fact manner implying that death is natural, but not necessarily noble.
The children’s deaths were the result of sickness and disease. The release of their souls was relief from the pain of this world when Wordsworth writes, “In bed she moaning lay, Till God released her of her pain;”(Wordsworth 50-51). He shows us through the innocence of a child who has not been corrupted by the fear of death that innocent faith reveals that death can be a relief from the suffering of this world.Shelley does not mention how a person dies, but he talks about the inevitability of it and the fact that every person will die physically when he says,” Or like forgotten lyres,”(Shelley 5). Lyres can be interpretted as the lives of people that are forgotten as they cease to have an impact on the world around them. Through this interpretation death may not be physical but the end result of a person no longer having any contribution to the society around them. The three poets have differing views of the final destination of the human soul.
Their views range from apparent annihilation to the prospect and hope of heaven. In Shelley’s poem, death appears to be the final end of a person. As his final assessment of existence, Shelley states, “Nought may endure but Mutability. ”(Shelley 16). Shelley makes no inference to the possibility of hope for a life after death. He says that no matter what a person may feel, think, or do, “It is the same! For, be it joy or sorrow,” (Shelley 13). In other words, what is felt, experienced, or accomplished in life does not matter.
Since he believes change is the only thing that lasts, then he implies there is not any life after death. Byron has some clues in the poem that imply a belief in the afterlife. Byron mentions his own spirit when he says, “Awake, my spirit! Think through whom thy life- blood tracks its parent lake And then strike home! ” (Byron 26-27). This can be interpreted as Byron agreeing to the existence of an eternal aspect to the human life called the spirit. Also, when Byron mentions, “And take thy Rest! ”(Byron 40), this might be an allusion to eternal rest or a release from suffering for the spirit of a person in paradise.Wordsworth is at the opposite extreme from Shelley when he however espouses his view that a person goes to heaven when he writes, “But they are dead; those two are dead! Their spirits are in heaven! ”(Wordsworth 65-66). Wordsworth also mentions the innocence of the girl and her ability to understand death when he states, “What should it know of death? ”(Wordsworth 4).
During the poem the little girl seems to be more comfortable with the death of her siblings than Wordsworth is. She still considers her brother and sister as being present and aware while Wordsworth would have them sent away to paradise.At the end of the poem, he gives up arguing with her when he writes, “’Twas throwing words away; for still The little Maid would have her will,”(Wordsworth 67-68).. The three poets agree that we all will die and that death is inevitable for everyone. They however have differing views on the life we live before we die as well as the final destination of the spirit. Shelley seems to have the opinion that there is no personal consequence to how a person lives or dies or what they stand for during life.
The only thing that happens is change. Byron has an attitude that wants to make a difference with his life as well as his death. He wants to be full of action, feeling, and purpose even in death. Wordsworth has a more sedate life to death view. He treats the death of the children as a normal part of life and the afterlife as the next obvious step. Since these are only three poems from their collections of work, the poets’ general views on the mortality should be deduced from their whole bodies of work