Dreams and Happiness

I have thought for a while about how to share these thoughts, but writers block isn’t writers block if you’re not bursting to write. I think, when I was 15 and 16, I was so eager to write because I felt it was how I could prove to someone, anyone, that I was growing in intelligence and maturity. Well I say anyone, but really I was trying to demonstrate my growth to you and my mum. Plaudits and criticism really only meant anything from you two. Nowadays, genuine introspective realisation of my growth as a person is all I need for contentment.

If someone were to look at where I am in my life, they could understandably infer some stress or worry on my part. The dream I thought I had been chasing my entire life has eluded me one day too many, I no longer place any significance upon the game of cricket. I am left with predicted grades that aren’t quite enough to get me into any Russel Group University. As a consequence, I have a gap year in which it is likely that I face my first real experience of hard graft job wise, and am faced with the prospect of not seeing some of my friends very frequently, as they are off gallivanting in other countries or on university campus’s over yonder.

But I am happier than ever. I am no longer feeling the hot whips of panic that life is known to conjure from within even the best of men. I think failing in achieving my dream of professional cricket has made me so much more secure than achieving it could have ever made me. I am a competent, and at the very least, a compatible and coherent human being, even when I am in life’s very own relegation zone. Going through the depths of the doldrums on my cricketing journey has given me experience that very few other young people around me have. This experience grants me the knowledge that I have, attached to me, enough of the substance that maketh good men, for me to live a comfortable and happy life.

Chasing a dream involves living day by day, being in a constant state of motion. Often it involves believing in the black, or the white. The tyger, or the lamb. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired”. To chase a dream, one must be a pursuer. And what of the tired? They weren’t born tired, they were the pursuers not long ago. In my experience of meeting people who have lived their dreams, or who have achieved them, it is clear that they have realized the distinction between achieving a dream and being happy. The luckiest amongst the dream chasers stumble upon happiness before they reach their destination. Meanwhile, the rest of those who have achieved their dreams look longingly into the past in attempt to rekindle the happiness they thought they would feel once standing at the great height of which they are currently.

It is true to say that the journey is often far greater than the destination. The destination just becomes the cherry on the top of a fucking fabulous cake. (a gluten free, vegan, anti war slogan cake obviously. Its 2018)

Love Island: Dystopia, Post-Reality, Fate

Just as a background for anyone who hasn’t sat through a slow hour of the show: Love Island is an ITV reality show in which contestants all stay in a tropical villa, aiming to “couple up” with each other and the last remaining couple get £50,000. It is essentially a cross breed of Big Brother and The Hunger Games. The classic model of fall outs, evictions, challenges and quintessentially trashy broadcasting has been reworked to monetise the most fundamental feature of human connection and enchantment; Love.

Contestants become less like humans and more like characters, both for the public and the shows’s producers. The show’s makers find any inch of human vulnerability from within the contestants and exploit it to garner the most feeling from the contestants and therefore the most entertainment for the episode. For instance, the producers bring back contestants ex’s into the villa, they grant the contestants phone calls with people at home, who rather predictably tell the contestants of all the rumors circulating about the show from home. The whole time the producers are using the contestants as pawns in their own chess game. All of this happens in the most synthetic of environments- forced dates, 24/7 contact, forced sleep arrangements.

1.6 Million people tune in on a daily basis to watch this dystopian pile of shit too. It is a fairly sinister number actually. It highlights that the less humane some humans are treated, the more the other humans want to watch. The show is elevated to a kind of post-reality reality show. This is because of the pure fact that if reality shows were the contestants actual non altered reality, there would be no public interest. Reality shows have to be synthetic enough to be more interesting than the viewers personal reality.

But all this producer intervention and interruption of the contestants reality is essentially a working metaphor model of fate. The producers have a desired outcome for every small situation they create. They therefore make sure that the contestants travel in the direction set out for them. The contestants lack of knowledge of a path and outcome already set for them means they believe they are still following their free will. They in actuality, are following their free will through the options set to them, but there are far more options they do not know about.

For a metaphorical example, contestants are given the choice to follow two roads to a promised destination. They pick with their free will one of the roads. What they don’t know is that there are 3 other roads that they could pick to reach the promised destination too.

Love Island is frighteningly like the films “The Truman Show”, “The Hunger Games” and many other fictional dystopia. I’m afraid that it won’t be too long until these fictional dystopia become part of mainstream entertainment.

 

 

 

 

 

The flaws of the Fine Tuning argument

The Fine Tuning argument is a type of teleological argument, most famously employed by Christian ‘thinker’ William Lane Craig. The argument draws attention to the astronomically delicate balance of initial conditions necessary for life in the Universe as we know it. The scientific study of astrophysics in the past 50 years or so has brought attention to examples of these fractional details of the Big Bang. For instance, the life permitting range of the relationship between the force of gravity and the weak force of an atom is so minute that the chance of it happening is 1/10 to the power of 10, to the power of 123. William Lane Craig says that this is evidence of the fine tuning of the Universe by a designer.

Among Atheists, this teleological style argument is well respected. Even the revered self proclaimed ‘anti-theist’ Christopher Hitchens admitted in a documentary he made with Bishop Douglas Wilson that it was the least trivial of all the theistic arguments. The Atheist response is usually one of three:

  1. Pointing towards the cosmological anthropic principle. This states that the fact that we even exist shows that no matter how unlikely it is, it is the case that these numbers are in the fractional balance that they are.
  2. The Multiverse theory. There are different versions of this theory, but they all point to a situation in which either                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a) there have been a number of failed Universes and ours is simply the mathematical eventuality of this process                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    or                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            b) Universes can only be life permitting, so the multiverses are just different variants of the same formula for the possibility of life.
  3. The acceptance of fine tuning but not the acceptance of the designer. This rebuttal is the most common among atheists. They highlight the missing link of logic between the realisation that the universe contains marginal balances, and the assertion that it was an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent, personal God that designed the universe.

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My argument is one rarely pointed out in debate. I point out that we cannot say that the different laws of physics and values pertaining to necessary balancing forces are the same in every universe. The whole nuance of different Universes is that they don’t have to contain life “as we know it”. I think it to be a rather selfish view that Human life, or life of any sort, is the reason behind existence of anything at all. Even asserting the need for a reason requires the need for something driving the Universe to have intelligence.

The point of the Fine Tuning argument is to ridicule scientists early ideas that evolution of life or evolution of some kind would happen in every and any universe. In my opinion, the argument does not actually do that. It just establishes the fact that an exact same evolution chain as ours could not be repeated if the basis of what our universe is grounded were changed. When you put it this way, the Fine Tuning argument argument is actually making quite an obvious and logical statement.

 

Henry 14/02/17

Bishop and Philosopher George Berkeley introduced the idea of immaterialism to the western world. His writings suggest that the material objects by which we live are simply illusions delineated through the prism of the five senses, and do not exist. Thus, following through to conclusion, Berkeley argues that perception is all illusion. An illusion of what, is the question that remains.

Some believe that because of immaterialism theory, there can be no reality. Other Philosophers reach a different conclusion, believing that human perception is a distorted interpretation of a set reality. The empiricist can only strengthen these claims. Empiricism in practice tells us that our eyes can only see between infrared and ultraviolet light, yet our technology shows us that there is far more light bouncing about in our universe. It establishes that our eyes can hear only a minuscule decibel range, around 20-20,000 hz, but our technology receives the millions of other high and low pitched frequencies that we can’t.

Once the limits of the Human senses are highlighted, the likeliness of other vibrations, energies, frequencies, consciousnesses moving through the universe are revealed. The desire for material things feels redundant. Humans become aware of their impermanence and irrelevance, which let’s be honest, is a hard pill to swallow. If one lets it, everything can become quite dull and fruitless. For others however, the reason why it is a hard pill to swallow becomes apparent. It is because we Humans feel so connected to something. This search for what this connection is has been attempted and is still being attempted through many mediums, the more cerebral astrology and religion, and the more physical yoga and meditation. The aim of all these mediums is to be transcendental and to reveal higher dimensional/elemental truth. Ultimately they all lead one to the realisation of the importance of the same virtues. These virtues are the ones of unity, love, compassion, and a sense oneness among us all.

Now, I cannot expect everybody to want to pursue this spiritual higher dimension, and because of this, the enlightened need to place these virtues at the top of society and create structures that revolve around the promotion of these values. Unfortunately this is not the case.

Technology and Human progression has made it easier for people to be content with the material world, to leave us not yearning for more real connection. The current western societal structure is based around the masses reacting to the individualism of a propelled certain few. These certain few become puppets for a media rhetoric, a rhetoric that follows a plot line similar to that of the some of the most archetypal forms of Greek storytelling- heroes and villains, gods and beasts and so on. It seems the media are obsessed with the rise and fall of these puppets. The existence of the aforementioned virtues in such rhetoric is sparse and minimal.

The promotion of jovial synthesized things such as borders, money and power is however in abundance. And once you attach a virtue onto these terms, you realise that these objects are the physical representation of some negative human factors: Greed, selfishness, lustfulness, division, just to name a few. Personally, I would prefer a society that didn’t stimulate the most horrible aspects of human behavior.

This is why I find myself located firmly on the left side of the conventional political continuum. Ideologies that support the virtues I’ve mentioned, ideologies that force social change, Ideologies that support true unity never seem to emanate from anywhere else but the left. The right is about conservation of the current. I ask why would you want to conserve the ecological, economic and spiritual crisis we find ourselves in right now?

I am sick, as a young person, of adults patronisingly telling me that this desire for human compassion and unity is ‘cute’.  It isn’t too far fetched, but the longer the people in charge keep resisting change-revolution-progression then the more afraid I am of my future.

Just Imagine

 

 

 

Heart

It is futile and untrue to rise “above” emotions. Ignoring them is fruitless. I want to listen to my heart, not to my head. But my heart has been dormant for some time now. There is an occasional opening through the clouds that reside around it, sadly though, it is more often than not a lighting bolt piercing it’s way down rather than a ray of sunshine.

For most of what I am conscious of, my heart has become more of a receiver and a consumer instead of the radiant core that it used to be, and that I feel like it should be. I cant feel anything, but I can feel that.

However, silence is heavier than noise, and through tranquility and peace, I find myself in a state where it is easier to feel. A sense of connection? Soul? I am happier in a state like this. In fact I don’t feel happy when I’m not in this state. If whatever it is is wisdom, then wisdom is being wise to see how unwise I am.

Yes, I am scared of a time I may not be able to reach the state again. In fact, every time i leave this state I am scared I can never reach it again. The worry for consistency dominates my life. I feel it is not within my reach. Death is the least of my worries.

Sometimes I feel more connected to something that isn’t people. Is it a part of me? Am I really me? Or is the construct of what I think is me, and my full energy, force and matter two identities?

Perhaps I am most scared of not being me.

But then, the longing to mean as much to other people as I mean to me is still heavy. Maybe even more foolishly, the longing to mean more to other people than other people have meant to those other people is also a flame not dwindling.

some people feel the rain…others just get wet

-Bob Marley

the alluring nature of contradiction and significance

Imagine all of your consciousness.

Imagine none of your consciousness.

Imagine something but nothing.

Imagine blank vibrant colours

Imagine a chilling eye.

Imagine a never ending end

Imagine a quiet rumbling

Imagine a bending light that screams

why can’t you be sure of what you imagine.

everything we imagine is filtered through a basic cycle of logic

a cycle that logic itself tells us is a good cycle to have

but this means we cannot be free 

the best concepts have come from disregard for logic

because logic is our idea now, a continuous pattern relying on the correctness of its last link to function

but when you challenge the link you get somewhere

that is, if scientific exploration is progression to you 

I don’t see why


because surely progression means going backwards now.

perhaps mimicking the universes and all matters cycle, constant growth and destruction

 

Response to a youtube video.

The title of this 5 minute youtube video is entitled

This is Proof That Christians Are Smarter then Atheists

 

I know the title is Ironic, but anyway…

 

Your argument revolves around three ideas;

1) You believe the majority is always right. You quoted that 83% of Americans are christian many times in your video (In regards to that statistic, the amount of genuine practicing Christians who pray every day and follow all aspects of religion in America is under 10% , 83% of Americans tick the christian box in a census.) May I remind you that America, less than 200 years ago, was about 95% christian, 95% of all Americans identified publicly as a christian. OK. May I remind you that for 245 years, (1619-1864) it was legal to own slaves in America. So for 245 years, the overwhelmingly christian country of The United Sates was completely morally accepting of slavery. Was slavery right in any way? No. Did the majority of christian America believe it was right? Yes. That completely demonstrates that the majority (in many cases the christian majority) is not always right and therefore cannot be used as valid argument for either the existence of god or why non religious people are not as smart as the religious.

2) You believe that religion precedes morality and intelligence. This is where your argument falls down entirely. You amalgamate capitalism and christianity. The existence of capitalism is not because of christianity. The ideology was created by christians because in the 1600’s it was unheard of to be an atheist as there was massive public stigma about it, an atheist would keep quiet because of the danger he or she would be in for stating the bleeding obvious. Capitalism was created by christians but not in the name of christianity. Slavery was created by christians, I know undoubtedly you would not say the two are in cohesion with each other, but this is the same with capitalism and christianity. You do not have to be intelligent or unintelligent to believe in any religion or lack thereof. You do not have to be morale to be religious or not religious. There are many examples of good religious people and bad religious people, and good atheists and bad atheists. This shows that morality and intelligence actually precede religion not that the other way around as you infer.

and finally

3) You believe that Communism is not religious. Communism and communist dictatorships are all about worship and have the same moral principles of religion. Look at North Korea, look at China, look at Stalin’s era of russia. They all revolve around citizens worshipping the leaders like they are gods. They all ban strange things and all have strange and unexplained rituals. There is irrational violence littered in all of them. They are all the literal metaphor of Hell on earth. This is what religion is like, but religion is in fact more ill founded because religious people worship something or someone that they have never seen before, that has never communicated with them, that they have no proof or evidence that exists. Your argument is ill founded and its whole premise is highly subjective and immeasurable. Define smarter? Is a man that has got an A* on every test he has ever done but cannot figure out how to solve and 30 piece puzzle “smarter” than a man who never did an exam in his life but did the 30 piece puzzle easy in no time? You can’t say, because being “smarter” is immeasurable. One thing is safe to say though, you should change your video description “This is something that you can’t deny” please. You have been embarrassed.

Religion and violence

“God is a concept, by which we measure our pain”.

John Lennon had it nailed all those years ago. In such times as ours, we must see this lyric in perspective, because recently many different religious “extremists” are using their divine relationship with a ineffable and infallible deity to justify causing pain to others. I have ‘extremists’ in quotation marks because I cannot quite fathom why violent religious people would be called ‘extremists’. Surely an ‘extremist’ is doing it right, one so devout to their religion that they follow every detail meticulously. The fact they are violent because of this devotion surely says more about the religion that than the alleged ‘extremist’. In which case, because a priest or even the pope are not considered to be extremist, surely they are not qualified enough and well studied to the extent that they can be high enough in the hierarchy of Catholicism to instruct others. By virtue of their degrees of infallibility and stature, both supposedly devout theological figures must paper over cracks when confronted with the validation of violence in religion. Examples of said validation of violence in holy texts comes in the form, in genesis, in which the great prime mover himself says “I will destroy … both man and beast.” This quote was extracted from the story of Noah’s ark, a story of Gods distaste of the current batch of humans and animals that he had created and his desire to destroy them all. And the religious say we could not have morality without religion! This previously mentioned story is one that many primary school students have been subjected to the reciting of, several times during their non religiously tailored primary education. Even as a 6 year old I remember pondering on how a tiny little man called Noah managed to build a ship that successfully housed both cold and warm blooded animals, who all had extremely contrasting diets and sleeping patterns.

Religious war has never been particularly opaque, it has been raging in some form ever since the crusades (various military campaigns validated by apparently infallible popes.) Warfare has included aspects of religion ever since the Mesopotamia city states conflict. The Mesopotamia states being Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, and sections of the Turkish and Iranian borders. A note being that all aforementioned states have become a battleground of religious war as recently as the turn of the century. They say lightning doesn’t strike twice, but clearly God does, he is seemingly the exact metaphorical antonym. I think the most stellar exemplification of God’s omnipotence is his ability to be on both sides in a religious war, as well as being classed successful no matter the outcome. After all why would our designer only orchestrate one war when he could orchestrate so many more and prevail in them all! Religious war has indeed begun to be re branded as simply war, a testament to the fundamental teachings of peace outstanding contribution to violence over the years, reminiscent of a sports legend having a stadium erect in his honor.

Thomas Aquinas, the catholic priest, hailed by many as one of the greatest Christian and Scholastic thinkers of all time, most well known for being the initiator of the causation argument, conjured seven ways a war could be justified for a good Christian to fight. These dogma have perhaps, unconsciously, been followed ever since. I attribute this to the fact it is so hard to find a war or even any assailant behavior that you could not justify with one of his seven methods.

Aquinas first rule is the least debatable, its premise being that if the cause of war is to resist aggression to remove injustice then that would be the lesser of two evils for all mankind. Reasonable. One would suggest communication but for the barbarianism of Aquinas’ time this rule was relatively morale. Next is the idea of legitimate authority, the notion that war can be justified if a government is initiating conflict instead of a specific military group. Flawed in the fact it looks past context and simply declares a war instigated by a national government, democratic or dictatorship to be just, however some saving grace is that this rule disallows non governmental groups to go to war so surely banishes the idea of civil war. The resulting dilemma is that only one of these seven rules need to be fulfilled for a war to be considered somehow just.

The proceeding statements are where Aquinas’ argument crumbles; by just intention, the reasoning and purpose must be for the ‘greater good’ and a probability of success. Two incredibly subjective statements that tend to be the hiding places for all war. The greater good cannot be defined and is different for all sides of a conflict, therefore fundamentally cannot justify war. The probability of success undermines all vaguely sensical rules in Aquinas’ menagerie of justification for religious and non religious violence, because no state enters war that they do not think they could win. The probability of success therefore allows all war to take place. The remaining three are once again subjective but not on quite the same level as the former: A just proportion of force used, a last resort, and the discriminate warfare ideology. All three cannot be measured however they do convey some basic morality that has been lacking from this quota of death and destruction. Thank God.

 

 

 

 

Shakespeare and Literary Heritage IGCSE Controlled Assessment COMPLETE

The Shakespearian play ‘Hamlet’ and the poems ‘On My First Sonne’ written by Ben Jonson, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ written by Dylan Thomas and ‘A Song in a Storm’ written by Rudyard Kipling are all layered with the same brickwork. They are all constructed by men that have had the agony of death piled upon them. These men live under a dark cloud. All of the studied texts contain a menagerie of literary devices that are used to explore the themes of fate, death, social position and predisposition. The narrator, antagonist or main characters of all studied texts embody various stages of deliriousness and have been twisted by the agony of the aftermath of death. Shakespeare’s son and Ben Jonson’s son both died in real life and the latter even makes a direct reference to his son as “his best piece of poetry”.

Hamlet, the main character in the play ‘Hamlet’ feels that life is holding him back, and to die quicker is good fortune. “When we have shuffled off this mortal coil” is a metaphor that suggests that he wants to rid himself of the strangling chain that fate has placed upon him. The degree of Hamlets despair is demonstrated by his feeling that he had no choice to be born, he feels life has been forced upon him. Hamlet believes life to be a burden, which perhaps means that he holds no value for life. Using the theme of fate, Shakespeare presents Hamlet as having no choice in life and suggests he is becoming a toy figure for a higher force to play with. Hamlet feels like an actor because he is always being controlled or is bound to do things. Shakespeare uses a semantic field to show this because Hamlet puts on a play to show how his father was killed by the King. The reason Shakespeare used a play to interpret the events was because he wanted to give Hamlet control of the actors to make him the director of fate. This was in stark contrast with reality wherein Hamlet felt controlled by fate.

The idea of fate is a connecting theme ripe among Shakespeare’s literary works. Fate is the idea that sometimes you are born under a bad sign and life is about learning to play with the hand you were dealt. Fate is a very useful literary technique because it allows authors to foreshadow in order to create a semantic field to surround a text. Hamlets fate has decreed him to a position of constant social judgement because of his royalty. ‘On My First Sonne’ holds a slightly more accepting view of fate. Ben Jonson believes that his child was lent to him “seven years tho’ wert lent to me…Exacted by thy fate on the just day” The literary device being used here by Jonson is personification. He is personifying fate by saying that it physically extracted his son.

This suggests Ben Jonson knew that there was a supernatural plan to take his son from the world at an exact time and that even through all his misery he can do nothing but accept it. Ben Jonson believes that his child was lent to him, thus believing that he never truly owned his heir. These believes correlate with those of a devoutly religious person. People who believe in God are told that God owns everyone and therefore has the power to take life away and God is omni-benevolent so loves everybody, and if he takes life away then it was for the best. Ben Jonson agrees with this by stating relief that his son “scap’d worlds and flesh’s rage” Ben Jonson is accepting that life does not belong to him, and he is just a mere actor in a supernatural entity’s play set. Due to the time that these texts were written, both men would have to some extent believed in God, however the contrast was Hamlet did not accept this deity’s doing, whereas Ben Jonson felt helpless.

One line from Rudyard Kipling’s ‘A song in a storm’ that suggests fate cannot be tamed is “Be well assured, though wave and wind, Have mightier blows in store” This imagery depicts fate to be a kind of cackling death monger. Traditionally sailors are very proud of their heritage and it is with acceptance that they operate under fate’s eye. A song in storm often presents fate more as an obstacle than a binding clause in life’s constitution. “Then welcome fate’s discourtesy”. The literary device used here is foreshadowing, and it once again emphasises that fate can embody evil, however as sailors of the seas, they are subject to work in accordance with this.

The studied texts all tack with death. Hamlet often expresses death using euphemisms. The least subtle example of this is “to be, or not to be” this is a euphemism because ‘not to be’ is substituted for death. A very common factor of all of the studied texts is to shy away from using the words ‘dying’ and ‘death’ and merely expressing life as not existing any more. This perhaps correlates with a fear of death from either the characters/narrators or indeed the poets themselves.

Whose phrase of sorrow conjures the wand’ring stars and makes them stand” is the most potent quote about death in Hamlets soliloquy “To be or not to be”. Hamlet is expressing his love for Ophelia and his lust for her death. He describes the stars (the planets) as standing up in respect for Ophelia’s death, as she is that important for him. This is another metaphor used by Hamlet that example his obsession with death. Death is littered in Hamlet’s life.

Shakespeare typically uses the idea of fate to make death prominent in his plays. This is similar to the “shuffle off this mortal coil” quote because it gives death respect, releases the feeling that the “calamity of so long life” will always end in death, death will always win. This is a sense of real hopelessness, that Hamlet demonstrates by expressing his need to survive through life. The difference between the connotations of the language used by a depressed person and a sane person are quite drastic. Hamlet is feeling the need to survive, to get through it. Whereas more sane and positive people view life as an experience and focus on the positive things in Hamlets life. For instance, he is king to be, he has a high social position and therefore is more fortunate than many of the civilians soon to be under his rule.

‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ tackles death by using a delicious euphemism “Good men, their last wave by,” This euphemism is layered by sacrificial context as well as its more subtle euphemism of the last wave. The last wave means quite bluntly, that it was their last before death, however the thought that the soldiers could know that it is their last wave is quite harrowing. This poem draws comparisons with ‘A song in storm’ because the roles of a soldier and a sailor are similar, they both symbolize the peak of selfless loyalty. The soldiers and sailors know they are at risk of death, but operate purely out of kindness and hold an affinity with their fellow countrymen or with their job.

Do not go gentle into that good night also possess the beautiful line “Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight” The wordplay used in this phrase is centered around the word “grave”, indicating two things, one being that the men are feeling fraught with danger, the other being that they are moving towards their grave by continuing to fight in the good night. “Near death” reinforces the soldier’s knowledge that they are very likely to die doing their job and characterizes their willingness to fight anyway. Dylan Thomas proceeds to say that the soldiers now see with blinding light, thus recognizing and addressing the notion that before death men become enlightened and see things with more knowledge than they did before. This idea suggests that forces out of our control can be compromised with knowledge and experience.

“Though wise men at their end know dark is right” reinforces the idea that the soldiers know that they would be dying for a good cause, this suggests that violence can be justified and the right thing to do, this is a surprisingly common theme among all four literary works. In the modern world death is not longed for and very often feared, however the antagonist Hamlet wishes for death to be cast upon him. ‘A song in storm’ and ‘do not go genteel in the good night’ both accept death as an eminent and necessary part of life. Ben Jonson is the only author that shows regret that death has happened. “Will man lament the state he should envy?” inquires Jonson, querying why he is feeling grief, when he knows that his child has escaped life’s harsh reality. Jonson addresses the circumstances with more than a heavy heart, whereas all other characters/antagonists in the studied texts do not concede they could feel any grief or regret about death. This contrast is perhaps because Ben Jonson did not die, his son did. This difference suggests the effect that death has upon loved ones is worse than the effect death has on its’ recipient.

 “On my first sonne” also infers that death is more of a punishment for the people close to the person that was evicted from existence. “As what he loves may never like too much” is a sombre reference to the harsh reality that his love was vanquished by death, furthermore he expresses the notion that death was aware of his love and punished him for it, as a retribution for dependency. The idea that Ben Jonson was dependent on his son is an abstract concept, as usually it is the child who is dependent on their father, this standard relationship is portrayed in Hamlet. The whole premise of the play is Hamlet showing his loyalty to his father by trying to and eventually succeeding in avenging him.

Do not go gentle into that good night uses rhythm to show the significance and sudden impact that death has. The entirety of the poem is in Iambic pentameter barring one crucial repeated line. This means that each line has 5 beats in it and is read in line with these parameters. So when the line “rage rage against the dying of the light” is not in this meter, it propels itself to the forefront of the stanza, it is quite clearly the ugly duckling of the verse. The rhythm actually sharpens the content of the line by the use of a beautiful metaphor. The dying of the light symbolizes the dying of the iambic pentameter. The dying of the light also suggests that the end is nigh for the verse by using foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is, in this case, used to create an atmosphere when being preformed. The iambic pentameter also adds an element of atmosphere when being read.

There is also the observation that when poems are read in rhythm, the words seem to slip off though tongue. This can sometimes conflict with the words in the poem, however when a poem is in free rondo, the words can sound spiky and angular. The meanings of words in poems in free rondo become more potent too. ‘On my first sonne’ for example is afforded a more sombre phonetic sound because its free-flowing nature is supposed to mimic life’s nature. This leads me to believe that death of the poet’s son was supposed to happen and therefore part of the nature of life.

All of the studied texts place significant importance and emphasis on death. This respect for death can only be carried out by the living which makes me, as the reader, feel that it the fear of death that underlines society. Shakespeare, Jonson, Kipling and Thomas believe fate to be an obstacle that cannot be overcome. The characters chosen by the authors to believe this feel varying degrees of anger and despair about it. The characters all in one way or another, reflect the society of the time they were written.

By Henry Howeld.

 

Poem Comparison

Hamlet V Futility

Both Hamlet and Futility are war poems  that delve into the idea of despair and hopelessness.

The narrator in Futility is in despair because he is upset that a soldier won’t wake up- he is dead. The narrator is angry because the sun is so powerful but cannot wake up the soldier. The narrator cannot comprehend this and feel futile to this