Death in Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant
When people ponder death they wonder about the unknown with trepidation. As a young man, William Cullen Bryant wrote the "Thanatopsis." His thoughts progress from the fear of death to the acceptance of the event. People should not fear death because everyone dies and becomes a part of nature.
A person should live life without fearing death and think of death as a pleasant rest. In the poem Bryant says, "When thoughts/Of the last bitter hour come like a blight/Over thy spirit,"(8-15). This quote implies when a person fears death he should listen to nature. He also states, "So live, that when the thy summons come to join/The innumerable caravans, …Thou go not, like a quarry-slave at night, /Scourged to his dungeon."(73-78). He explains here that a person should live life without fearing death. In the following lines the poet states, "approach thy grave, /Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch/About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."(79-81). By this quote the author is saying a person should think of death as a pleasant rest. Bryant says fearing death is a useless energy.
Death is a natural event, and everyone dies. An excerpt from the poem says, "Yet not to thy eternal resting-place/Shalt thou retire alone, …Thou shalt lie down/With patriarchs of the infant world --with kings, …"(31-37). This quote explains that when people die they are not alone; they lie down to rest with the people of the past. Later in the poem Bryant states, "All that breathe/Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh/When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care/Plod on, and each one as before will chase/His favorite phantom;" (60-64). He explains that all living...