Thursday, May 5, 2011

Life's but a brief Candle

Hi guys, I think I took a little-too-long break from blogging since i was visited by some unfriendly problems which I had said goodbye to.  And ya this post is going to be a new attempt in my blogging ‘career’.  Its an academical post about a poem that most of us are familiar with. Since I worship Shakespearean literature to an extent, I had chosen the poem to be Life’s Brief Candle from Shakespeare’s famous and short-most tragedy Macbeth.

Ok first lets recollect how the whole story brings to this famous poem. Macbeth is a scottish Thane Lord and a General in the Scotland army under the rule of Duncan, the king of Scotland. Being deceived by the prophecies of the three witches, Macbeth with the full support of Lady Macbeth plays an evil game to seize the throne. As the play reaches its end, Macbeth starts to lose everything beginning from his sleep, peace and later his wife. In this particular scene in which the poem is featured, Macbeth just received news of the death of Lady Macbeth. This when Macbeth reflects how empty and meaningless this life could be. It is also that he is aware of the defeat that awaits him in his battle with Macduff.

Now lets take a closer look at the poem itself and I'm sorry that I can’t keep formal with my writing. For the 1st line, it is evident that he is sick of his life already. Read the line and compare it with to-morrow, to-morrow and to-morrow. Shakespeare chose to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow instead. It indirectly spells the tomorrows that are dragging his life more and obviously he is not happy with it. Followed by the first word he chose for the second line ‘creeps’! why creeps and not moves or any other word?  Creeps which means to move slowly in the case of people or animals with the body near the ground. He has to make it hard! Then to add more misery to his slow paced life, he adds the word ‘petty’. Once again he stresses that his life is still going on and its not ending and he is sick of it.  Another bad news comes in the 3rd line as he has no choice but to live it until he really dies.

All our yesterdays have lighted fools! We are all fooled that life won’t come to an end. Just like how Macbeth didn’t expect the death of his beloved wife. To put in simple words it means that time makes fools of us all for which we don’t know which tomorrow is our last one. We don’t understand things until it is too late. We are doomed back in the end we will only see what fools we are when we reach the last day of our lives.
one day it will
Candle that represents life. He wants it to go off! He wants his life to end for he is done with it. Shakespeare is basically symbolising life as a flickering candle. A candle is easily snuffed and our lives are just like that ends anytime. The imagery moves on to a stage where the human being is seen as a poor actor or ‘player’ who worries (frets) his way through his 'play' (life) before dying and being heard of no more, defining exactly the circle Macbeth went through from Act 1 till the final act. The next metaphor says that life is like a story "Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,"the word 'idiot' shows how frustrated and angry he is at his life. Everything is as if life is loud by the things human do and say but it's stupid because we're going to die anyway. So maybe in our words, "Why the hell we're living life anyway?” we do this and that, with strength and courage and all that we have, but at the end of the day we're going to die, so life is idiotic to begin with or to live for. Humans are just playing a part given to them by an idiot which I supposed refers to the God and finally it just means nothing as the ‘play’ ends.

To an extent Shakespeare is right as at one point life really gets meaningless but that doesn’t mean we should not look forward for the tomorrows in our lives for we have so many things to enjoy and live for while we are here. Life is such a brief candle and we are all players on the stage. So what???? Make it worthwhile! And ya, its such a pessimistic poem and that is what we are feeding our children with in our English syllabus. Hopefully they understand the right meaning despite the ‘signifying nothing’ life. 

Living it my way for i believe in tomorrow
 Renuka G


gsm said...

Talking about the candle ? What a coincidence,when I was a teen ,I choose the candle was my symbol,in whatever and wherever I write I end with a drawing of the candle flame.I always thought I was the candle and my parents hv lighted me,slowly but surely I am going to die,but before I die I should be of some use at least to someone who may need some light!Thats how my journey of life started and continues.Used and Misused !Until the last drop of wax the candle lives for others,not for others actually but for the same person who lighted it!This is the philosophy of life,glow for those who need us,for life is too short for regrets.The contentment and satisfaction comes when after u "die" off,someone says "hey,thanks for the light!"

gsm said...

This is a general comment my dear not intentionasl or whatsoever,but thank for reminding my teen days!I forgot the quote I wrote.....its so bright and shines from outside but deep within its dying......,me my life,...I am the candle !!!!