thanatopsis


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than·a·top·sis

 (thăn′ə-tŏp′sĭs)
n.
A meditation upon death.

[Greek thanatos, death + -opsis.]

thanatopsis

(ˌθænəˈtɒpsɪs)
n
(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a meditation on death, as in a poem
[C19: from Greek thanatos death + opsis a view]

thanatopsis

a survey of or meditation upon death.
See also: Death, Meditation
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.thanatopsis - an essay expressing a view on the subject of death
essay - an analytic or interpretive literary composition
References in classic literature ?
The pie list swelled; the richer puddings had vanished; the sausage, with his drapery wrapped about him, barely lingered in a pleasant thanatopsis with the buckwheats and the sweet but doomed maple.
1) In Gopher Prairie there is Thanatopsis Club (thanatopsis = Greek "vision of death"; a name that was probably suggested by the poem which William Cullen Bryant, aged sixteen, wrote after reading Robert Blair's The Grave and William Cowper's The Task): this is the main cultural force of the city, led by the most eminent ladies, who attend conferences on the English poets.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, Thanatopsis, in THE POETICAL WORKS OF WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT 21, 21 (D.
9) John Lennon and Malcolm Foley, Dark Tourism: the Attraction of Death and Disaster (London: Continuum, 2000); Valene Smith, "War and Tourism: an American Ethnography," Annals of Tourism Research 25 (1998): 202-227; Anthony Seaton, "From Thanatopsis to Thanatourism: Guided by the Dark," Journal of International Heritage Studies 2 (1996): 234-244.
The term derives from the ancient Greek, thanatopsis, which means 'contemplation of death'.
The capsule held more than 50 items, including a piece of wood from Independence Hall, a copy of Thanatopsis, an 1818 poem by William Cullen Bryant said to be the first to contain the word Oregon, and a souvenir badge welcoming the President to Portland.
Ishmael experiences other tropes or turnings from his thanatopsis mood, as when in the Spouter Inn he is terrified by the prospect of a cannibalistic, harpoon-toting savage for his bedmate, only to find a bosom friend who indirectly saves his life; as when in the chapel, staring at signs of his seemingly foreordained death in the black-bordered tablets commemorating sailors lost at sea, he finds unaccountably that his "Faith, like a jackal, [that] feeds among the tombs, [.
And finally, it means to give oneself back to the place, as the speaker affirms in the opening lines; elsewhere Berry expresses this ecological thanatopsis as "slowly falling / into the fund of things .