Ambiguity of the Concept of Death: a Comparison of ‘Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night?and ‘Because I Could Not Stop for Death

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Who does not cower in fear upon the thought of death? Almost everybody does! However, people have differing views on the abstract idea of dying. In examining the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death? by Emily Dickinson and "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night? by Dylan Thomas, it is evident that the poets use contrasting and comparative techniques in their unique presentations of the concept of death. In the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death? Emily Dickinson presents the idea of acceptance of death, whereas in the poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night? Dylan Thomas presents the idea of refusal and opposition to death. Despite the differences in theme, these two poets both use similar figurative language devices, such as metaphors, personification and alliteration as they explore their contrasting ideas pertaining to the concept of death. Through the use of their same literacy techniques, both of the authors have presented two very different perceptions on death: Dickinson's message is acceptance whereas Thomas?is rejection.

The poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death?by Emily Dickinson is composed of six quatrains; four-line stanzas. All the odd number lines are written in iambic tetrameter and have eight syllables. Meanwhile, all the even number lines are written in iambic trimeter and have six syllables. The alternating lengths of the meters (eight and six syllables) resemble a falling stream of water, allowing nature (death) to take it to wherever nature desires to. Dickinson structures her poem to present her theme of accepting death calmly and willingly. On the other hand, the poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night?by Dylan Thomas is a form of villanelle with two important refrains; "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night? and "rage, rage against the dying of the light?. Just like the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death?by Emily Dickinson, this poem is also composed of six stanzas; however, the leading five stanzas are tercets...
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