Over The Hills And Far Away Syntax

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William Ernest Henley was a poet known for writing about life’s trials and tribulations. The way he artfully expresses mankind’s ultimate journey forces the reader to analyze his own views on death and dying. In Over the Hills and Far Away, Henley presents the changing viewpoint of a mortal on the brink of death, a position he was once in. The mortal, also the first person speaker, undergoes a transition in the way he views dying – death goes from being an obscure figure to being a grim foe to at last, being a comforting solace, an end to suffering. Henley employs the use of colloquial diction, simple syntax with repeating phrases, and a changing tone in order to delineate the process of coming to terms with one’s own inevitable demise. The diction Henley uses in Over the Hills and Far Away is a key component in creating an impact in the reader. Rather than using formal and rigid sounding language that the common man of his day wouldn’t understand, Henley opted for simple and concise in his poem. Take for example this fragment of the poem: Where forlorn sunsets flare and fade On desolate sea and lonely sand Out of the silence and the shade…show more content…
The sentences are predominately simple and quite short. For example, “Hark to it calling, calling clear, / Calling until you cannot stay / From dearer things than your own most dear / Over the hills and far away” (13-16). In keeping his sentences brief and uncluttered, Henley allows the reader to read the poem without having to decipher any obscure language. It leaves his intended meaning out in the open, further emphasizing the importance of it. Furthermore, Henley also makes use of repetition in his poem. He repeats the phrase, “Over the Hills and Far Away,” at the end of every stanza to emphasize the presence of death. Death is always present, at every stage of the transition. It is the looming shadow over the speaker, whether the speaker wants it there or

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