The Dead by Rupert Brooke (Analysis)

Topics: Present tense, Past tense, Life Pages: 2 (536 words) Published: March 12, 2008
In the poem, the speaker does not seem to have a specific role, but despite this, he does seem to be connected to the scene that he is describing. He describes everything almost as if he is there and not as if he is not a part of the scene. All but the last sentence in the first stanza of the poem is in the past tense. In the first stanza, he is describing the time when these people were alive. At this point in time, everything seems to be described with lots of colors and the time is warm, generally summer and spring. When reading the first stanza you get the idea that everything is in some way alive. The narrator talks about movement, how all of these people were all once loved, and how they had known joy. These people seem to have known everything that there was to be known about living. Appealing to sight, the narrator describes flowers, the sun, and the colors of earth. All of these things serve to emphasize the fact that these people leaving you with a sense of life, until you read "all this is ended." With that line, Brooke affects not only your sense of time in relation to the poem, but also the poem's tone. From that point on the poem in written in the present tense. This signifies the fact that everything that had previously been described had existed in the past. The life that had once existed in these people and things is gone. In the second stanza the season seems to change. It is no longer warm with the kiss or the sun, but now it cold and the frost "stays the wind." The people have now changed to being lonely and wandering, no longer loved and surrounded by friends. To exemplify this change even more, the time of the day also changes. It is now night instead of the bright, happy day we had experienced before. Despite this change, death is not portrayed as being something as terrible as the tone might make it seem, because there is "wandering loveliness." The person in the poem leaves life, but instead of leaving darkness, "he leaves a white," "a...
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