On The Eve of His Execution - Four Levels | Adventure In English

Chidiock Tichborne (1558?-1586)

On The Eve of His Execution - Four Levels | Adventure In English

On The Eve of His Execution

Literal Comprehension: Although young, the poet is very unhappy. There is no sign of happiness. There is only pain. His corn field is full of weeds. He can hope unsuccessfully for a better future. But there is no sign of a better life after waiting for such a long time. Although he is alive he feels that his life has ended. People have heard his story, but nobody has spoken on his behalf. As a young man, he could live so many more years, but because of his execution, he has loosed everything in life. He is uncared and ignored. Death has followed him from the womb and life has become merely a shade although he has everything necessary for life, he is going to be executed.

Interpretation: This poem expresses the feeling of a healthy person who is going to be executed young. The poet is living the remaining moment of life strongly. The oncoming death has made him observe his whole life. He evaluates what life has given him. As his execution is unexpected everything in his life is unexpected and unnatural.

Critical Thinking:
This poem has three stanzas. It is an elegy. It expresses controlled feeing. It is so well expressed and natural and so skillfully composed that it is regarded as the little masterpiece in literature. The music of the line is serious but not saddening. The seriousness is emphasized by the repetition of the rhymed refrain as though the poet were expecting the slow tolling of the bell announcing his heath.

When I read this poem I identified my self with the poet. I felt vague about what a young man feels when he is sure to die. I realized that all my connecting with the world would be cut off if I die soon. I felt an unknown kind of emptiness in life.

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