Loathe Death, Discourage Death or Fear Death.
Does death represent an ending or a beginning? For some religions such as Buddhism, death represents both; when you die, you have finished your life and will start a new one. In Christianity, death represents a beginning of a blissful ascent to heaven where life is perfect. For atheists, death is the end; there is nothing more to it. In a literary sense, death is represented in many different ways depending on the period of time. During the Anglo-Saxon period, death was expressed as a heroic measure and those who could accept death and go into battle expecting their own demise were highly esteemed. The Renaissance and 17th century were quite divergent to the latter as they thought of death as something to be slighted and abhorrent. The 18th Century and the Romantics viewed death as something with great power that used its supremacy to instil fear into the human race. The following characteristics applied to each period will be further demonstrated in this essay with the use of illustrious literary works of their times.
Beowulf was a brave knight who was revered upon by his people because of his many encounters of bravery. He fought many perilous monsters and beasts and ri
The later made him a true hero during this time because as a chivalric code, a hero must go into combat with the acceptance of death. Going into the battle, Beowulf knew that he would be fighting with "fate against him"(line 16, The Last Battle, Anon) meaning he would die. Until he has written as many works as he is content with, the speaker will remain afraid of the possibility of death taking him too soon. In "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Coleridge, the main character is waiting to die and is afraid because death is in charge of his fate and it is not being sympathetic to him. Their views on death are similar in the fact that they fear its power, but in the poem by Keats, the speaker is afraid death will choose him too early. Literary works of this period began individualizing death as something evil and iniquitous. Written during the Renaissance and 17th century, Holy Sonnet 6 clearly demonstrates the world"tms attitude towards death. sked his life so as to slaughter them and save countries. The acceptance of death, slighting and abhorring death, and fearing death"tms supremacy, are all very different views on a common subject. During his last battle as an elderly man, and King of the Geats, Beowulf went out to battle a fire dragon who had been terrorizing Geatland. In "A Valediction, Forbidding Mourning" also by Donne, an exhibition of the same approach is shown. Instead of accepting death or searching for it to be remembered as a noble person, the supremacy that death portrayed was now becoming endangered; it was as if people were challenging its strength and confidence. This sonnet shows that people saw death as something that should not be proud because such things as "poison, war, and sickness" (Line 10, Holy Sonnet 6, Donne) can deliver the same eternal sleep that death brings them. The poem suggests that sadness should not come with the possibility of death because love can endure the physical and can therefore endure separation.