By Close Analysis Of Funeral Rites, Explore Seamus Heaney’s Attitude To Death In North.

1203 words - 5 pages

Heaney’s attitude towards death is presented in different perspectives within Funeral Rites. A pun, based on a homonym, embedded within the title itself, suggests one’s right to have a funeral : for there to be an occasion for family and friends to mourn one’s death whilst celebrating their life. In Funeral Rites, Heaney demonstrates the beautiful serenity associated with death, while also highlighting the tragic aspect of death and dying. Funeral Rites is composed of three parts (the first of which I am going to focus on in this essay), with Heaney focusing on different attitudes towards death and dying within each section. For example, in the first section, Heaney concentrates on funerals in the past, as established by use of the past tense. The transition to present tense in the second section is confirmed by the strong adverb ‘Now’, and future tense in the third section highlights the change in customs within the change in time period. With Funeral Rites’ distinct structure, Heaney is indicating his nostalgia for the past, as well as highlighting his outlook on the situation in Ireland.

Funeral Rites’ tri-partite structure is reminiscent of the structure of North. North is separated into three sections, with each representing Heaney’s altering attitudes towards death. The first section contains two poems in dedication - clearly personal to Heaney. By introducing North with two personal poems, Heaney situates the reader in a ‘world of warmth, solidarity and almost mellow fruitfulness’1. We experience Heaney’s childhood as comforting, and sense his nostalgia.

In Part One, Heaney portrays an image of overall death and suffering through his bog poetry. Through examination of the bog poems alone, one can easily notice Heaney’s changing perspective of the bog bodies. Come to the Bower, the second bog poem in North, has soft, positive connotations. Phrases like ‘dark-bowered queen’ and ‘Venus bone’ are used, coupled with sibilance (‘skins and see’, ‘reddish as a fox’s brush’) to further soften the mood and soothe the reader. In addition, Bog Queen is equally gentle, with sensory imagery used to describe the body, which first presents Heaney’s attitude of death as peaceful, and ceremonious.

However, in The Grauballe Man, Heaney begins his into the illustration of death as increasingly violent. He does this through withdrawing the body’s connection to nature, with ‘rusted hair’ and ‘forceps baby’, while furthering the image of violence by ending the poem with harsh, strong consonants (‘slashed and dumped’). This violent portrayal of death continues in Punishment and Strange Fruit, as Heaney focuses on the sacrificial bog bodies. These bog poems contain negative connotations of death and suffering, and as Heaney relates them to situation in Ireland (‘I who have stood dumb when your betraying sister, cauled in tar, wept by the railings,’), we can distinguish his declining attitude towards death.

Heaney begins Funeral Rites: ‘I shouldered a...

Find Another Essay On By Close Analysis of Funeral Rites, Explore Seamus Heaney’s Attitude to Death in North.

Delving: An Explication of Seamus Heaney’s “Digging”

1148 words - 5 pages his father and grandfather Heaney gives way for imagery to illustrate how the pen of power, even the pen of knowledge, will be his spade in likeness to the spade his father and grandfather used that inspired the living roots in young Seamus Heaney’s head that enabled him to gain a voice as his poetry went public. Thus, Heaney reassures himself that he made the correct decision in exposing his motive to write embodied in his father and

Character Analysis of Anna Close in As We Are Now by May Sarton

874 words - 4 pages live at Twin Elms. The only point in the novel when one can truly get a feel for the type of person Fred has become with old age is when Caro's close friend, Standish passes away. Fred and the others are pleased with Standish's death because he was considered a tough soul to break at Twin Elms. Standish was constantly fighting Harriet and Rose in any way he could manage. The others felt triumphant with his death because it meant that they had

"Rites of Passage" by Sharon Olds

615 words - 2 pages Rites of PassageA poem by Sharon OldsMinor Generals - By Henning ThielSharon Olds' "Rites of Passage" is about the hidden adults in the children that come to her son's birthday party. All the children are boys and display male adult personality traits that remind the speaker of small mighty Generals of war. The tone comes across sad, ironic and disillusioned about the future of the children, like they are doomed to follow in the war mongering

The South by Ruth Parks Analyzed in respect to Rites Of Passage, physical setting, style and the roles of the Characters

752 words - 3 pages Formative 1The Harp In The South By Ruth ParksThe novel The Harp In The South by Ruth Parks. It tells the story of the Darcy family, who live in poverty in 1940's Surry Hills, an inner-city slum suburb of Sydney. The style that Ruth Park writes is amazing. It's almost like tapestry: a collection of motley scratched scraps of wool that she interweaves together to create something heartbreakingly beautiful even though it is something that is quite

Close analysis of the film "Witness" by Peter Wier

1207 words - 5 pages half of the grass. The crossing of the two worlds is portrayed by the Amish moving through the frame from right to left through the grass. This is an unusual technique and symbolizes a different society as usually most movement is from left to right.A scene later in the film demonstrates different attitudes towards violence in the two worlds. This is where Samuel finds Book's gun in a drawer. Samuel is startled when John enters and yells, 'Don't

Close Reading Analysis of The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

1398 words - 6 pages unnatural, in facing the seemingly unfamiliar experience for the first time. Lahiri (transition…..) Through the use of Ashima's failed assimilation into America, Lahiri opens the eyes and minds of forthcoming generations by boldly declaring the analogous connection between pregnancy and foreignness.Lahiri notably chose to begin The Namesake, with Ashima. Ashima is the character Lahiri entrusts to bring her novel to life so to speak; while

Nature in Twice Shy by Seamus Heaney

710 words - 3 pages Nature in Twice Shy by Seamus Heaney Using nature to express picturesque images, Heaney portrays the purity of the unspoken terms of love in one of his love poems – “Twice Shy”. The title of the poem “Twice Shy” seems to have been taken from the age-old proverb, “once bitten, twice shy”, and we are, as a result, led to expect that the characters in this poem have had a bitter experience in the past, therefore they are

Themes of Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney

851 words - 3 pages poem on a rhyming note. In conclusion, Black-berry picking by Seamus Heaney is a fine piece of poetry set alive by metaphors, similes, alliteration, imagery and other literary devices. Heaney’s poem seems to be violent and brutal, and has a lesson to be learnt behind the poem, a message deep but not linked with childhood, linked to the struggles of life.

In What Ways Does Philip Larkin’s Poetry Show His Attitude To Death?

2559 words - 10 pages dark by bringing gifts, but they are merely wasteful gestures because death is so inevitable and final. Larkin's attitude to death, here, sees it as totally negative, we also see this view in his poem ' The Explosion', where Larkin takes the form of a third person, describing an incident which claims the lives of several miners in a rural community. Here, Larkin takes the role of a narrator and in this poem his view of death is more sanguine than

Seamus Heaney's Blackberry-Picking and Death of a Naturalist

2078 words - 8 pages adult analysing his childhood; “Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not”, consequently a sense of regret. Death of A Naturalist is similar to Blackberry Picking in its subject and structure. Here, too Heaney explains a change in his attitude to the natural world, in a poem that falls also into two parts, a somewhat idyllic past and present torn by various conflicts. The experience is almost like a nightmare

Rhetorical Analysis of Antony’s Funeral Speech

1129 words - 5 pages   On the Ides of March in 44 B.C., Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by a group of prominent politicians led by Marcus Brutus. The sudden death of Caesar created a power vacuum which gave rise of a two factions, one headed by Brutus and Cassius and the other by Antony and the future triumvirs. Shortly after Caesar’s death, Antony spoke at his funeral and used the opportunity to lead the Roman people away from Brutus and back to

Similar Essays

Explore The Ways Seamus Heaney Presents Emotions And Experiences In “Digging” And “Death Of A Naturalist”

672 words - 3 pages a bottle”, as it shows that he cares about his well-being. In “Death of a Naturalist”, Heaney refers to a male frog as a “bullfrog”, this is quite mature language, so this shows an element of pride that he has learned this. Heaney’s relationship with “Miss Walls” is clearly a tentative one, this is shown when she tells her students about “the mammy and daddy frog” as she is evidently using immature language to avoid touching upon a taboo subject

Dichotomy In Seamus Heaney’s Poetry Essay

3910 words - 16 pages , both with a strong presence of Heaney’s personal voice, are imbued with a sort of ambiguity as Heaney struggles with the death of two people who were both very close to him. In both poems, Heaney “tries to converse with and question the dead” in an attempt to rationalize, or at least display his sentiments on the untimely deaths (Parker 159). It is interesting to watch Heaney oscillate in imagery, tone and diction as he progresses through both

Analysis Of Seamus Heaney's North

4095 words - 16 pages power, cult or creed than the Christianity that we found in “Funeral Rites”, and harkens back to a simpler time when violence was an accepted way of life and one did not have to moralise or critique; one did not have to worry about one’s reaction to the tarring and feathering of young girls. So far we have seen that Seamus Heaney has been truthful in his opinions… up to a point. He confronts wanton violence, death and destruction by

Gendered Identity In Seamus Heaney’s ‘Act Of Union’

585 words - 3 pages Gendered identity in Seamus Heaney’s ‘Act of Union’ In 1801, the political Act of Union created a legislative bond between Great Britain and Ireland, bringing Ireland under British control as part of the “United Kingdom”. Within the poem ‘Act of Union’ Heaney draws upon the double meaning of this titular phrase to compare the long lasting effect of this lawful union with an act of sexual domination. Within the work, Heaney anthropomorphizes