Romantic Poets' Views on Mortality

Topics: Romanticism, Death, Life Pages: 3 (1236 words) Published: July 5, 2011
People deal with the concept of mortality with many different worldviews and a perception according to different aspects such as the brevity of life, the method of dying, and the final destination of the person. In “We Are Seven”, William Wordsworth describes the attitude of an eight year-old girl toward the death of her two siblings. In “January 22nd. Missolonghi“, George Gordon, Lord Byron has the perspective of a man past his youthful prime and is considering that the best way to die is to go out in a blaze of glory as a soldier. In “Mutability”, Percy Bysshe Shelley promotes the stoic view of the inevitability of death and how brief life is. In “Mutability”, Shelley alludes to the brevity of life when he states, “We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon; How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,”(Shelley 1-2). Shelley is comparing human life to the vapor- like nature of clouds that are both tangible and uncontainable. He also expounds upon the fragile nature of human existence and the inability of anyone to sustain or impede the departure of that existence in the quote,” they are lost forever”(Shelley 4). 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!”...
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