My Thoughts about William Ernest Henley’s Poem, “Invictus”

In “Invictus,” the speaker was faced with a tragic event. Henley suffered from tuberculosis of the bone from the age of twelve and based this poem off of the strength he gathered within himself. This poem holds a repeating motif that clarifies the main theme of prevailing through darkness. “Out of the night that covers me, black and the pit from pole to pole” signifies the darkness he faces or knows to be true. For example, the “pit” might  refer to Hell or a dark reality. Overall, the poem’s main theme is that no matter what challenges or obstacles someone faces in their life, they can overcome them and become the master of their fate.

This poem not only applies to William Ernest Henley, but all around the world. The message of prevailing and taking life into your own hands is highly appealing to most people because of the imperfect world in which we exist. It connects to all religions and even to those who don’t have a religion. To people all around the world, this poem can be inspirational, memorable, and influential. This poem can apply to everybody and anybody in this world, because we all do not have perfect lives.

Although I have not lived through some of the unfortunate series of events in William Ernest Henley’s life, I can safely state that I can relate. Humans aren’t perfect nor do they live in a perfect world, so I can relate to that feeling of determination and the exhaustion of being pulled deeper and deeper into a darker world. Keeping this poem in my mind will serve as a pleasant reminder of never giving up when things get rough.

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