Death in Art, Philosophy, and Religion
The human animal dances wildest on the edge of the grave.
- Rita Mae Brown
Whom the gods love die young, was said of yore.
- Lord Byron, Don Juan (canto IV, st. 12)
To die: to sleep:
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,--'t is a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Before the imminence of death, language rushes forth, but it also starts again,
tells of itself, discovers the story of the story and the
possibility that this interpenetration might never end.
Headed toward death, language turnsback upon itself; encounters
something like a mirror; and to stopthis death which would stop it,
it possessesbut a single power: that of giving birth of its own
image in a play of mirrors that has no limits
-- Michel Foucualt
The fear of death is worse than death.
[Latin: Timor mortis morte pejor.]
- Richard Eugene Burton (2), Anatomy of Melancholy
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell upon the ground,
and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb,
and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath
taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
- Bible, Job (ch. I, v. 20-21)