'Fear No More' - from 'Cymbeline' by Shakespeare

‘Fear No More’

Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o' the great;
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan;
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.

The poem ‘Fear No More’ appears as a song in Shakespeare’s play ‘Cymbeline’. It is a song sung over the supposed death of Imogen, the central female character of the play. The central theme of the poem is that death overpowers all and that all men are mortal.
The speaker in the poem says that the dead must not have any fear about the heat of the Sun and the chilling and strong winter winds. The persons who have died after finishing their earthly tasks have received their wages, that is, what they deserved in return of their deeds. They have gone to their heavenly home. The poet next suggests that man is mortal and all men must die whether they are charming boys or beautiful girls and even the poor chimney sweepers. Death has been called the greatest leveler since times immemorial. One day everything will pass into nothingness.
“Dust thou art,
To dust returneth” (Bible)

In the next stanza the poet says that we should not be afraid of the tyrant as they can do nothing when we are dead. The poet asks not to take care of clothes and food because nothing is superior or inferior for the dead man. For him reed and oak are both alike. All the kings, scholars and doctors too will have to follow the law of nature and will die one day to return to dust.
In the last stanza the poet asks us not to be afraid of lightening or a cloud burst. Nor should we be afraid of adverse opinions or insult, because for a dead man both happiness and sadness are not a matter of concern. Even the young lovers will go through the same road as our elders.
In this song the poet presents before us the universal truth that man is mortal. The poet also expresses the view that after a person dies he need not fear the troubles and sorrows of the world because they don’t bother him anymore. Death is a freedom – freedom from the chains of earthly life. Rousseau had rightly said, “Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains.”

1 comment:

Ibtissam said...

you have no idea how much you helped me to understand this poem:)

A literary bonanza - THE LITERARY JEWELS magazine