The Approach Of Death In Thanatopsis By William Cullen Bryant

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In William Cullen Bryant’s poem “Thanatopsis,” Bryant illustrates the peaceful approach of death and the role nature plays in the process. I feel that the narrator of this poem is Bryant himself, and it is as if he is relaying advice to the reader about how one should approach death. This poem depicts death as a positive experience as opposed to a negative one, as many people view it to be. Bryant expresses how one must embrace one’s return to nature peacefully through the poem’s structure and the use of various literary devices. Bryant wrote this poem in unrhymed blank verse. This makes the reader feel as if Bryant is simply speaking to the reader about death as his thoughts come to mind, which creates a more personal, relatable tone. …show more content…
He is also mindful of diction to let the reader know that he or she is being spoken to. In the first line of the poem “To him who in the love of Nature Holds,” Bryant is blatantly addressing the audience he is wishing to capture. He is not just addressing one who loves nature or simply loves the outdoors, but one who is controlled by nature; everyone. He continues to more specifically address the reader by referring to the reader as thee (line 18). For the remainder of the poem, Bryant refers to the reader as “thee” and the possessive form “thy” to continue the personal intentions of the poem. Because the poem is speaking about one’s peaceful return to nature, Bryant uses phrases that do not paint a negative picture of death. For example, Bryant describes this experience of death in lines 32-38 as …show more content…
Thou shalt lie down/ With patriarchs of the infant world—the wise, the good, / Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, / All in one mighty sepulchre… (Line 32-38). Bryant includes these lines to explain to the reader that one will not make this return alone or uncomfortably, but one will meet many along the way and be more comfortable than ever before. He uses what is now considered formal diction because this poem was written in 1850. In that time, this diction would’ve been used in an everyday conversation whereas now readers may find it hard to read. Nevertheless, Bryant is sure to use other timeless rhetoric techniques and components of poetry so the reader can understand the message Bryant is conveying. The diction Bryant chooses is imperative to his use of imagery. Throughout the poem, Bryant manipulates and even personifies certain aspects of nature to enhance his use of imagery. For instance, in lines 38-46 Bryant

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