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A Literary Analysis on “My Last Farewell”

Updated November 11, 2020
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A Literary Analysis on “My Last Farewell” essay

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Introduction

“My Last Farewell” or Mi Último Adiós in Spanish is a poem written by Dr. José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. Rather, it was his will of testament, as Dr. José Rizal wrote it in prison the eve before his execution on the 30th of December 1896. Dr. José Rizal was visited by his mother, sisters, and his nephew, and Rizal told Trinidad, one of his sisters, that there was something in the cocinilla. The guard later gave the stove to Narcisa when the group was on board to leave. Inside the stove was a note where a 14-stanza poem with 5 lines each was written, without any title nor date. An instruction that tells another note is hidden inside Dr. José Rizal’s shoe was written on it too, however, the other note was too unreadable when found. His family reproduced copies of it, and Mariano Ponce printed it in Hongkong on 1897 with the title of “Mi Ultimo Pensamiento” and was published by Fr. Mariano Dacanay in the first issue of La Independencia on the 25th of September 1898 with the title “Ultimo Adios.”

Discussion – Biographical Criticism

My Last Farewell written by Dr. José Rizal was his last ever written piece of literature. Reading the poem shows the author’s adieu to the world. Reading the poem shows the author’s love for his country. And reading the poem shows the author’s feelings to his friends, his country, and to the world as he marks his disappearance. No matter how many times one interprets the poem, it was a magnificently written piece of farewell.

However, those change when knowing the author. When scrutinizing about the great Dr. José Rizal, your perspective of the value of the poem changes, and your knowledge about the author magnifies the value of the poem even more.
As we all know, Dr. José Rizal is the national hero of the Philippines. One of those who fought for the independence of the country, for the sake of the country, under the Spaniard’s callous rule. Dr. José Rizal fought not with spears or swords, but with his pen. He is a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement which upheld political reforms for the Philippines under Spain. Instead of bloodshed, Rizal used censures to fight with the injustice of the Spaniards. Dr. José Rizal studied medicine and became an ophthalmologist because of his blind mother. Upon returning to the Philippines, Rizal also helped building a school, a hospital, a water supply system and in agriculture as well. This proves and shows Rizal’s love for the people.

In the first stanza of the poem, Rizal bids farewell and offers his life although sad and repressed. This is because Rizal’s life, although meaningful, was full of hardships. Rizal was hardworking due to their situation. Prior to this, he wrote two novels which heavily criticized the Spaniard’s rule in an attempt to awaken and ignite the hearts of the Filipinos for a revolution against inequity in their own land and was chased by the government. Rizal issued a manifesto disavowing the current revolution in its present state, at his time, and declaring that the education of Filipinos and their achievement of a national identity were prerequisites to freedom. In the third stanza, he depicts that if to attain independence is for him to die, then he shall die. He was imprisoned many times, and in those many times were many chances to escape.

However, he is fine as he can fight and support as long as he can hold a pen and a paper. His last resort was to be a martyr in order for the Filipinos to awake to the reality that they shall not hold back anymore as the Spaniards are willing to shed blood in order to get their way. The fourth stanza was flashbacks from his youth, his younger days. He saw injustice at an early age due to the martyrdom of GomBurZa. In the sixth stanza, Dr. José Rizal asks not for monuments but only for flowers just, so he’s not forgotten, the grass mentioned symbolizes the growth of the Philippines. The seventh stanza shows Rizal’s insights into the future. The moon shone over his tomb represents a clear sky, a country without oppressors. And the bird singing a song of peace over his tomb site means harmony after his death, and peace in his death. In the ninth stanza, Rizal wanted everyone to pray for each other, for those who have suffered and fallen, for those who are helpless and tortured, for the mothers and the captives, and for independence. In the eleventh stanza, Rizal does not care anymore if he is forgotten, as long as the message, the lessons, the knowledge, his thoughts, his words and his philosophy were spread. This is because Rizal knew and have trust that education will lead the Philippines to success. What use is independence if the Filipinos cannot maintain the order in the country. In the thirteenth stanza, Rizal bids farewell as he leaves his parents and his loved ones. Rizal is going to heaven, a place where being faithful is not wrong and only God is right, the One Who have right to judge the others. The last stanza Conclusion

“My Last Farewell” or Mi Último Adiós in Spanish is a poem written by Dr. José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. Rather, it was his will of testament, as Dr. José Rizal wrote it in prison the eve before his execution on the 30th of December 1896. Dr. José Rizal was visited by his mother, sisters, and his nephew, and Rizal told Trinidad, one of his sisters, that there was something in the cocinilla.

References

  1. Wikipedia contributors. (2019, February 1). Mi último adiós “Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.” Retrieved on February 27, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mi_%C3%BAltimo_adi%C3%B3s&oldid=881341566
  2. Wikipedia contributors. (2019, February 27). José Rizal “Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.” Retrieved on February 27, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jos%C3%A9_Rizal&oldid=885370672
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A Literary Analysis on “My Last Farewell”. (2020, Nov 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/a-literary-analysis-on-my-last-farewell/