Invictus and The Alchemist Response Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 8 January 2017

Invictus and The Alchemist Response

The poem Invictus written by William Ernest Henley is a poem written about courage in the face of death and holding on to ones own dignity despite the indignities life places before us. In the first stanza the poem’s speaker prays in the dark to “whatever gods may be” a prayer of thanks for his “unconquerable soul.” Several things are apparent from the outset: First, the speaker is in some sort of metaphorical darkness, perhaps the darkness of despair. Second, he does not pray for strength, but gives thanks for the strength that he already has. Third, he seems rather flippant about who he is or is not praying to; it is almost a prayer to himself at this point, but not quite.

Henley also bring this up in the second stanza where he talks about God’s will or even fate; instead he speaks of “the fell clutch of circumstance” and insists that he has overcome these bravely and without complaint.The third stanza is about death and what a trifle it seems to the speaker of the poem. This “place of wrath and tears”, this life, it seems, is not full enough of pain and horror to frighten the poem’s speaker. And death, “the Horror of the shade,” could not possibly worry him, being an end to “wrath and tears”. Notice here that he is not concerned in any way about an afterlife. Death is merely an end to suffering for our speaker. Nothing of any concern seems to lie beyond for him until.

This poem is an inspiration to it readers depending on the way you read it. This poem like mentioned before has been written for those suffering from an incurable disease or just going thru a tough time in their life, to give that person some hope and strength. I Can relate to this poem because growing up i’ve been threw lots of illnesses it all started when i was diagnosed with Meningococcal Meningitis when i was just a baby. Than at the age of 16 i was diagnosed with Hereditary Breast Cancer.

Going thru this i felt so alone and like my life hit a point of no return i lost hope and faith. I felt helpless and i also felt bad for my family making them so worried about me. Nevertheless i have not let this bring me down or think twice about anything that i set my mind to do. I have enlisted in the Marines and hoping to leave to boot camp in september. Going threw everything i’ve been threw in my life has definitely taught me that everything in life comes in threes , but at the end of the day if you fall down seven times you must get up eight , because you can’t let life struggles get in the way of your Personal legend.

This Poem is also related to the Alchemist. Santiago hits a point in his journey where he feel’s like he’s losing himself .The alchemist prepares to move on with Santiago to the pyramids, but Santiago complains that he doesn’t want to leave Fatima. The alchemist says Fatima understands that Santiago needs to complete his Personal Legend. at this point Santiago gets frustrated with the alchemist because he doesn’t want to leave fatima behind. Another point where santiago loses faith in his journey is towards the end where He feels frustrated that the alchemist didn’t teach him anything, but the alchemist says Santiago should have learned through actions.

Santiago asks him why he is an alchemist, and the alchemist explains he learned the practice from his grandfather, when alchemy was simpler. He says men complicated alchemy by writing books about it. Previously, alchemists only needed the Emerald Tablet. Santiago asks what the tablet says, and the alchemist replies that one can’t understand it through reason since it provides a passage to the Soul of the World. The alchemist encourages Santiago to immerse himself in the desert and listen to his heart so he can also gain an understanding of the Soul of the World but at the end of the book santiago continues his journey and finds his treasure than makes his way back to fatima. This relates to the poem because it talks about where a person’s life goes threw so many obstacles but at the end still overcomes those hard times.

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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 8 January 2017

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