October 9th, 2009
Of Life and Death
People perceive death in different ways. Some are afraid of it. Some others are eager to find or meet her.There are even those who do not even want to consider its existence, with the hope of avoiding her. The same is true about life; some people are happy with life while others are angry at her. “Come LadyDeath” by Peter S. Beagle uses setting, character and symbolism to demonstrate the theme that each individual’s impression and value of what it is to live and die.
The setting used is relevant topresent the theme of “Come Lady Death.” The story occurs between the 17th and 18th century in London “When that George who spoke English with a heavy German accent and hated his sons was king” (1). Thecharacters are all noble men and women; this is relevant because their opinions and experiences with life differ with those of the rest of the population so greatly that their view is almostunrealistic. A great example is the idea common to those times that noble positions were divinely appointed. People with great titles tend to have a view of life blinded by materialism and vitriolic. In otherwords, the setting predefines the basic morale of the characters.
“Come Lady Death” uses different characters to represent opposing views of life and death. Lady Neville, the main character, is anaged, rich, rather condescending widow. She cares for no one but herself; heartless, or with an empty hearth at the most, just like lady Death describes later on “Your hearth is like a dry riverbed, anempty seashell” (12). She doesn’t look at the poor as individuals (2). Although, such traits are common for people with similar background as lady Neville, what differentiates her is that she feelsno value in life, even towards her own. The character of The Poet shows some contrast with lady Neville. He is presented as being too naive; however, he is the one who points out how cruel and wicked...