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Death, Why Do They Write Thee

2135 words - 9 pages

The medical world affects our qualms and contemplations every day, whether it is that disease one may struggle with every day or that stomach ache one may have tussled with after consuming some horrendous food. Today, although it may not seem like it, we are privileged to have our prime worries be that of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and mental ailments. All of those terrible infirmities, that we have yet to conquer, seemingly slip into occupations, conversation, compositions, and the routine of our everyday lives. This dilemma has always been a part of history, since colds were life threatening. At one point in time life expectancy was young, almost half of what it is today, many infants didn’t survive birth and diseases went rapid. One can imagine how petrified the people of those periods were. Scientific advancements in the medical field certainly affect the emotions and actions of death in daily life; this correlation is evident in literature throughout the ages, in arrangements by authors, such as John Dunne, Jonathan Keats, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
From the ages of superstition and homemade remedies arose the foundation of a complex medical world. The 1600s marked the termination of the Renaissance; however, the urge to learn more about the sciences persisted. One improvement was found in the previously women ran apothecary shops or pharmacies (Strocchia). The medical world was reformed when William Harvey discovered how blood circulates in 1628, which became “the basis for modern research on the heart and blood vessels” (Strocchia). Blood endured as a topic of interest and several years later in 1656 experimentation began on blood transfusion (“Medical Advances Timeline”). Towards the end of the decade blood cells, tissue, and microorganisms were detected with the enhancement of the microscope (“Medical Advances Timeline”). The production of scientists at this time was vital, yet their concepts were not accepted until much later in time, due to the lingering beliefs prior to the Renaissance and those of the church. Even when the ideas of Galen were proven wrong they were still accepted, along with the conviction that dissecting bodies was sacrilegious and were only preformed on incarcerated individuals (“Renaissance Medicine”). Once the innovative enhancements were acknowledged these weren’t simply steps for the scientific realm, but giant leaps in the direction of modern medicine.
Despite, the numerous medical developments of the time many poets still centered their pieces on the dark thought of death. John Donne, a lyricist of the 1600s, seemed to take a certain interest in the passing onto another world. Donne’s life, however, could have impacted his creations, due to the tremendous amount of death he encountered. He had many traumatic events occur in his life, for instance the passing of his father, at the age of four, followed by the imprisonment and passing of his brother (“Donne, John”). Death also stole his wife and five of his...

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