Commenced in January 2007
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the essence of death Related Abstracts

1 The Different Essence of Death in the Elegies of Shelley's Adonais and Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam

Authors: Sulistyaningtyas

Abstract:

The topic about death and dying is interesting to discuss since it is strongly related to every individual life. As represented in its title, Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats is a mournful poem written in 1821 by Percy Bysshe Shelley to mourn the loss of young poet John Keats. To compare, In Memoriam A.H.H. is an elegy written in 1850 about the death of Lord Tennyson’s dearest friend, Arthur Henry Hallam. Although both elegies were written to grieve the authors’ loved ones, their grief affects differently to the psychological being of the narrators. Thus, this research aims to examine the essence of death in affecting the narrators psychologically. By using psychoanalytic criticism, this research reveals the different essence of death in the two elegies as the result of the analysis. Moreover, these two elegies also portray the concept of the afterlife, immortality, and the figure of God. In Adonais, the grief of the narrator to Keats leads him to question the very purpose of life. The loss of his favorite poet which makes him feel sorrowful and mad along his 55 stanzas brings him to a higher psychological level to understand himself. He even sees himself as a Christ-like figure, which shows the idea that God is imaginable. Different from Adonais, the narrator of In Memoriam finds something more spiritual by doing his passionate mourning to Hallam. Through some contemplation in his 133 cantos, in the end, he is convinced that the dear one now dwells with a great Spirit who controls the world. He believes that all of the creation in the universe has to follow one law which is set by God. Hence, it can be concluded that death might bring different consequence to the psyche of every living creature.

Keywords: comparative study, elegy, psychoanalytic criticism, the essence of death

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