On My First Sonne And Mid Term Break

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Mid term break was written by Seamas Heaney in the 20th century and On My First Sonne was written in 1603 by Ben Jonson. Both poems are based on real deaths that the writers experienced. Heaney’s brother unexpectedly died at age four, and Jonson wrote his poem in memory of his own son.
In Mid Term Break, Heaney uses narrative, to form a child’s perspective on death. Even from the title of the poem we are given clues that the narrator is young. ‘Mid Term Break’ is something that we associate with school, and therefore gives us clues that the narrator of the poem is a child. However, the title of the poem can also be somewhat misleading as the noun ‘break’ is something that has happy connotations, and this is most definitely not reflected within
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The poem was written in a time where God was a major part of every individuals life, many people were Christian and believed in heaven and hell after life and so immediately associating death with religion would be something that was expected. We can find evidence for this when Jonson writes ‘the state he should envie?’ This is referring to the fact that when you die you go to heaven and Jonson is questioning why he is feeling pain, when he knows his son is going to someplace better than where he was. We can see this when he writes ‘ To have so soone scap’d worlds.’ Throughout the poem there is a semantic field of religious imagery with mention of sins and judgement day, ‘on the just day.’ Jonson is seen to have faith in God and is trying to see the good in the situation. In this way death is also presented as something that can be accepted. In On My First Sonne the poem begins with a declaration. The very first word he writes is ‘Farewell,’ this suggests that he has completely accepted the death of his son. During the poem Jonson, at no point, is denying the death of his son, but rather trying to convince himself that perhaps it was for the better. He writes about how he envies him because he escaped the world where ‘fleshes rage.’ This shows once again the strength of his religious faith. Jonson sees the hope in the situation and has faith in God’s decision which highlights how the theme of death is immensely tied in with religion and
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