Comparing Death And It Was Not Death, For I Stood Up

1537 Words Mar 20th, 2016 7 Pages
Write a critical commentary comparing and contrasting the two poems ‘Death’ and ‘It was not Death, for I stood up’

Indeed. in their respective poems it is evident that the poets George Herbert and Emily Dickinson are writing in two different centuries. Both differ in terms of style, language and the different way in which they approach the concept of death. However, despite their differences, both ‘Death’ and ‘It was not Death, for I stood up’ signify the fundamental features of death in the poems which reiterates death as biological despite some poems viewing death as an abstract being . In ‘Death’, Herbert explores an abstract interpretation of death and compares it to the literal features of death. In the first line death is referred to as an “[U]ncouth hideous thing,” (line 1), the word “uncouth” personifies death as a being as death is being described as lacking good manners. Death as being mannerless highlights the conventional image of death as a being that takes lives rather than being a natural thing. This image of death as a physical being can be argued as a conventional medieval ideology about death. Yet this fictitious interpretation of death is juxtaposed with the literal image of death as “Nothing but bones” (line 2). The biological decay to bones as a result of death contradicts this idea of death as an evil coarse being taking lives. However despite that abstract death being contradicted by biological features of death, abstract interpretation of death…
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