On the Eve of His Execution Four Level – Chidiock Tichborne |Bikram Adhikari

 On the Eve of His Execution Four Level

- Chidiock Tichborne

Literal Comprehension: The speaker says his youth has been full of anxieties and cares. It has been full of pain. His life’s yields have been wasted by tares and he can hope for nothing good. The world told his tale but it did not hear the one about him. The fruit of his life has fallen although his leaves are still green. His youth is gone but he is not old yet. He understood the world, which did not understand him. The thread of his life has been cut, but it has not been spun. He sought his death and found that it was already present in his womb. His life was only a shade. The earth he trod was his tomb. He is dying before his life has begun. The glass of his life is full, but it has already run too. His day has passed but he has not seen the sun. He seems to live, but he is dead already.

Interpretation: This poem presents the near-death experience of a person. The title itself is suggestive of that kind of experience in the poem. It is made clear in the title that the speaker was writing this poem just on the eve of his execution. So, he knew when he was dying. This knowledge of death gives him an intense sense of loss in his life. He feels that he has lost his life before his life has yielded him anything. Generally, a person is carefree in his youth, but the speaker has to be full of care and anxieties even during this period of his life. He thinks he has done his duty for life and the world, but he has been denied from life’s feast. It gives him an utter sense of having wasted his life. So, he complains bitterly in the poem.

Critical Thinking: This poem presents a reality about the near-death experience of a person’s life. When a person knows about the date of his or her life, then the person feels that all sense of loss. Such a person cannot think of any positive aspect of his or her life. And particularly, when the dying person is at his young age, then the sense of loss is even greater. The speaker in this poem is such a person. He knows in the prime of his youth that his death is going the take place the next day. It gives him an acute sense of loss in his life. So, he compares his life with a field, in which the crops are destroyed by tares. He uses many metaphorical expressions to highlight his loss. Metaphors like “dish of pain,” “crop of corn,” and many others highlight the intensity of his emotional sense of loss.

Assimilation: This poem has given me an insight into how a person feels just before he or she dies. The poem, particularly, has taught me that death appears to be horrible when it comes at an early age. When a person is still young, he or she has not been able to experience much or he or she has not even lived life to its full intensity. So, death at such a time gives the person an utter sense of loss and pain. I understand that the speaker of this poem is not an ordinary person. He has been executed for the cause he stood for. He still believes that he is right, but the world itself has failed to understand him. It also gives him the height of a martyr. Martyrs are generally of the nature of the speaker of this poem.

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