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On The Eve of His Execution – Four Levels | Adventures in English Vol II ( Two)

On The Eve of His Execution Four Levels


Unit : Seven (Life and Death)
Written By : Chidiock Tichborne (1558–1586) was born in Southampton, England, to Roman Catholic parents was erroneously referred to as Charles, was an English conspirator and poet.

Literal Comprehension

This is a beautiful poem written by Chidiock Tichborne.Although young, the poet is very unhappy. There is no sign of happiness. There is only pain. His corn field is full of weeds. He can hope unsuccessfully for batter future. But there is no sign of batter life after waiting for such a long time. Although he is alive he feels that his life has ended. People have heard his story, but nobody has spoken on his behalf. As a young man he could live so many more years, but because of his execution he has loosed everything in life. He is uncared and ignored. Death has followed him from the womb and life has become merely a shade although he has everything necessary for life, he is going to be executed.


The poet might be trying to tell us that We only understand the value of something when we are about to lose it or lost it.This poem expresses the feeling of a healthy person who is going to be executed young. The poet is living the remaining moment of life strongly. The on coming death has made him observe his whole life. He evaluates what life has given him. As his execution is unexpected everything in his life is unexpected and unnatural.Untimely death is very disturbing.We must think many times before we make very big decisions and must think of its consequences

Critical Thinking

This poem has three stanzas. It is an elegy. It express controlled feeing. It is so well expressed and natural and so skillfully composed that it is regarded as the little master piece in literature.But some of the ideas of this poem are questionable.

  • How can someone write such a perfect poem on the eve of his/her execution? At the time of too much pain!
  • Why is he not feeling guilty? Wasn’t it his mistake to make a plot against queen?


When I read this poem I identified my self with the poet. I understood that we should think before we act.Love others as you love yourself.I felt vaguely what a young man feels when he is sure to die. I realized that all my connecting with the world would be cut off if I die soon. I felt a unknown kind of emptiness in life.


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