Thanatopsis Questions and Answers

Thanatopsis

An apt description of Romanticism is that of a "journey" from the corruption of society and the limits of rational thought toward the freedom of the spirit and imagination and the truth and...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2014 6:21 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

The tone in Thanatopsis reflects the narrator's attitude toward the topic. Tone is made more intricate because the narrator ceases to speak for himself and begins to speak for Nature ("Comes a...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2009 4:27 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

"Thanatopsis" can be categorized as an elegy, a poem about death that begins with an overall melancholy tone but ends with a more positive, uplifted tone. There are two major shifts in the poem...

Latest answer posted December 7, 2015 8:08 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

The theme of William Cullen Bryant’s “Thanatopsis,” published in 1817, is that death is nothing to be afraid of. The poem begins by describing nature, and commands us to "Go forth, under the open...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2016 11:32 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

At the beginning of "Thanatopsis," the speaker is experiencing happiness ("gayer hours") and this prompts a very specific reaction from Nature, who is personified as a female friend. First of all,...

Latest answer posted March 23, 2017 8:10 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

The first sixteen and a half lines of William Cullen Bryant's "Thanatopsis" are spoken by the poet, or by a speaker with whom he closely identifies himself. In the middle of the seventeenth line,...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2020 12:44 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

Blank verse is the use of iambic pentameter in unrhymed lines, a style that Shakespeare used in his plays to show a unique character or someone who was a commoner. This style as used by William...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2016 6:32 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

"Thanatopsis" is presented as an elegy, a type of poem that starts with a melancholy tone but ends in a more uplifting way. There are several key shifts in tone in the poem that indicate the...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2016 6:54 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

William Cullen Bryant's "Thanatopsis," or "Meditation on Death" is written in the contemplative tone of the Romantic poet. This poem reflects the notions of individualism, nature, imagination, and...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2015 10:15 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

In this poem, Nature is speaking to the reader and reassuring the reader as to why death is not to be feared. Nature does this by telling the reader what will happen to her/him after death. Nature...

Latest answer posted December 21, 2009 5:03 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

The title of the poem literally means "views on, or a vision of, death" which is entirely appropriate as death, or, to be more precise, how we approach death, is the main theme. The expression...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2019 10:19 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

In "Thanatopsis" the speaker is addressing anyone who loves Nature, and he tells them to "Go forth under the open sky, and list / to Nature's teachings" (ll. 14-15) when they begin to feel the sad...

Latest answer posted December 18, 2015 4:26 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

The title "Thanatopsis" is a combination of the Greek root words "Thanatos", the embodiment of death, and "-opsis", referring to vision. We could interpret this in a variety of ways, such as "A...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2013 7:04 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

Bryant's meditative poem "Thanatopsis"--Thanatos was Death personified for the Greeks--describes a vision that places the deceased in the company of the wisest and most powerful humans who have...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2017 3:55 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

William Cullen Bryant's poem "Thanatopsis" presents death in a more positive comforting way, as the speaker presents death as a natural part of the life cycle. As such, Bryant incorporates several...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2019 4:05 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

William Cullen Bryant expressed his views about death most clearly in two of his poems: "Thanatopsis" and "To a Waterfowl." Often associated with the English Romantic poets, Bryant, like them,...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2016 8:17 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

The conclusion of the poem 'Thanatopsis' by William Cullen Bryant has some consoling things to say about death. However, it has to be said that the poet wrote the piece when he was very young! Such...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2010 8:31 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

It is not only the speaker of "Thanatopsis" who has experienced the fear of death but the reader whom he is addressing. Note that the speaker, presumably William Cullen Bryant himself, says: When...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2013 12:12 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

You have clearly asked a big question here - the majority of poems use a number of figures of speech, and so rather than go through each separate example, I will identify a few and then hopefully...

Latest answer posted October 3, 2010 9:39 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

When we read this poem we are presented with a speaker that celebrates and reflects upon Nature as a kind of mirror that matches his happy moods and offers comfort and balm for his darker thoughts...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2010 6:32 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

In "Thanatopsis," a meditation on the inevitability of death, Bryant's speaker begins by using antithesis to contrast the joys of living in the natural world to his fear and dread of death. His...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2020 9:17 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

William Cullen Bryant's poem "Thanatopsis" reminds me strongly of a beautiful passage by William Faulkner in his novel The Mansion. The mean, surly, bitter sharecropper Mink Snopes is lying on the...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2013 2:38 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

In this excellent poem, which is famous for its expression of Romanticism and an organic, cyclical view of nature, Nature is shown as a force that is ultimately benevolent and with whom we can have...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2011 2:51 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

With all the focus on respect for nature and "going green" nowadays, William Cullen Bryant's "Thanatopsis" stands as a poem whose message is extremely relevant today, for it is a most meditative...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2010 12:42 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

Thanatopsis means "a meditation on death" in Greek. The poet, William Cullen Bryant, was only seventeen when he wrote it, having been given a mistaken diagnosis of fatal disease. he took...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2009 1:07 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

In "Thanatopsis," William Cullen Bryant uses personification to give human characteristics to nature. He writes, "To him in the love of Nature holds / Communication with her visible forms, she...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2019 8:29 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

The words "emotion" and "passion" do not appear in William Cullen Bryant's poem "Thanatopsis," so I have to assume you are referring to the overall tone and feeling of the poem. This is a poem...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2013 7:34 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

The speaker introduces and concludes this poem with a personified voice of nature tells of the cycle of life. When the author introduces nature he says that when a person is bogged down with...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2008 10:59 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

William Cullen Bryant has little to say about what Nature does for people in their happy times. He only devotes a few lines to this subject, as follows: To him who in the love of Nature...

Latest answer posted May 7, 2013 12:18 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

The answer to this question can be found in lines 3-5 of this poem. The first two lines of the poem introduce readers to a man that really enjoys nature. He enjoys it so much that he is able to...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2017 3:53 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

This poem is a meditation on death. The speaker says that everyone who has lived has died. The idea is that we should not fear death because it is a natural part of life, and one should not feel...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2016 5:41 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

In an attempt to offer comforting words, Bryant's "Thanatopsis" guides the reader through what happens after death. There are many lines that indicate it could not have been written by a Puritan...

Latest answer posted May 27, 2019 11:49 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language; for his gayer hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence...

Latest answer posted March 20, 2014 8:34 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

These lines actually describe the way in which humans live their lives and how the death of someone important impacts them. As if to reassure the reader, the speaker in the poem talks of the way...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2011 7:07 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

I do not find the speaker’s attitude either comforting or disturbing. It strikes me as being a “declamatory piece,” intended to be read or recited aloud. I would describe it as “impressive” or...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2013 8:22 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

This is actually a pretty famous poem by William Bryant, but famous doesn't mean the same as "easy to understand." I think I can point you in the right direction on the subject, though. I won't...

Latest answer posted December 9, 2009 9:50 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

Bryant's foundational premise in "Thanatopsis" is that through death, one becomes a part of nature. The natural world in which one lives will become the natural resting spot for any person. In...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2009 5:20 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

I'm assuming this question is referring to the Romantic period of literature, in which Bryant was a contemporary poet. Nature features prominently in Romantic literature as an underlying force for...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2018 8:20 pm UTC

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Thanatopsis

I have provided a useful link below that gives a detailed summary, plus some background information that should help a lot. But in general, the poem is a commentary on the unity that exists...

Latest answer posted February 5, 2009 10:41 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

As a Romantic poet, William Cullen Bryant felt a closeness with nature. One of the ever-present lessons of nature is the organic cycle of birth, growth, death, and rebirth. It is interesting...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2009 1:36 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

Key to understanding this masterful example of American Romantic poetry is the context of the times. Bryant was writing as part of the Romantic movement - a movement that started as a reaction to...

Latest answer posted August 30, 2010 1:40 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

Thanatopsis is Bryant's meditation on human mortality. The voice of nature occurs in the middle of the poem, and is framed at the beginning and end by the voice of a human mortal who is scared of...

Latest answer posted December 18, 2007 5:01 am UTC

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Thanatopsis

I assume you are talking about Thanatopsis when you say "Bryant's meditation on death." I would think that Jonathan Edwards would have been completely befuddled by this poem. By that I mean that...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2009 9:37 am UTC

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