fear no more





“Fear no more”
By William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare utilizes simplistic language to emphasize the themes in “Fear no more;” however, he exercises complex metaphors to depict the struggles one undergoes during a lifetime and as a result urges the reader to overcome all melancholic sentiments that lead one to oppose a peaceful death. The diction applied in “Fear no more” efficiently creates emphasis on specific sections of the poem. In addition, the euphonic flow used by Shakespeare illustrates the author’s serenity and resignation towards the subject at hand. In essence, Shakespeare’s “Fear no more” employs rhetorical devices such as repetition, appeal to the audience, and imagery to reveal the desired theme.
The fundamental theme of this poem is regarding the significance of succumbing to death, for after having a full life everyone must fearlessly face the end. In addition, the poem emphasizes that one should not fight against the arrival of death in any of its forms. In fact, this argument is first introduced in the title and further displayed throughout Shakespeare’s poem. In the first line of all three stanzas, the author begins with the phrase, “Fear no more,” openly showing his belief that one should willingly submit to mortality. Furthermore, the poem’s theme is displayed through the phrase “all must … come to dust.” By acknowledging that death is inevitable for all of humanity, the author attempts to emphasize his belief that one should not “fear” fate. The theme of the poem is also reinforced through repetition. For example, to emphasize his stance, the author repeats the phrase, “Fear no more” in the first line of the first, second, and third stanza of the poem. Once again this occurs with the phrase, “must… come to dust” in the fifth and sixth line of the first, second, and third stanza. This is of importance
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because it reiterates that the author’s main purpose is to instill the notion that one should not struggle against mortal defeat because it will eventually come upon everyone, including those that have attained fulfillment from life.
In Shakespeare’s first stanza, the theme is applied to a wide audience that may have different fears. In this stanza Shakespeare explains that one should, “Fear not the heat o’ the sun, /Nor the furious winter’s rages; ” for we have completed our “worldly task…/ Home art gone, and [have] ta’en [our] wages.” Through these ideas, the author is stating that once one has done everything in one’s power to help the world (“Thou thy worldly task hast done”) nothing is left to do but to wait for death. In fact, he believes once death is near, there is no need to preoccupy oneself with insignificant worries, such as the changes in the elements. In addition, the poet continues by declaring that everyone, including “Golden lads and girls… must, / As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.” This statement explains that the young and wealthy (“Golden”) as well as the older and poor (“chimney-sweepers”) can not escape death. Thus, Shakespeare he is expressing the opinion that death will follow one’s life, whether good or bad, and is not something to dread because everyone will, at one point or another, have to endure it’s arrival.
Throughout the second stanza, Shakespeare continues to stress his idea by addressing other fears and types of people. For example, the author explains that one should not be fearful of other’s thoughts (“frown o’ the great”) or actions (“tyrant’s stroke”). In fact, he continues by stating that our daily routines will no longer be priorities (“Care no more to clothe and eat”) because once death arrives we will lose the ability to feel and compare the objects that surround us (“To thee the reed is as the oak”). In addition, Shakespeare states that “scepter, learning, [and] physic” will also experience demise (“must / All follow this and come to dust”). The poet’s affirmation emphasizes that death is unavoidable for everyone, including those of high status, therefore, one should not attempt to fight it. Overall, by showing that diverse groups will
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have to encounter the same event, Shakespeare is able to convey his message that one should not panic when death begins to approach because it is the concluding