Q:

What is Jose Rizal's poem, My Last Farewell, about?

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Quick Answer

Jose Rizal's "My Last Farewell" is a poem about his impending death as he wanted to honor his homeland, the pre-Hispanic Philippines, for which he was giving his life. He also used the poem to say goodbye to his friends, family and loved ones.

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Full Answer

Rizal faced execution shortly after he wrote the poem, on December 30, 1896, at the hands of a Spanish army firing squad. The army's intent was to kill Filipino soldiers like Rizal, who had formed a rebellion against the Spanish incursion. Rizal hid the poem in an alcohol stove for his family members to find.

Rizal's poem was originally written in Spanish, without a title or date attached to it. It has also been translated with the title, "Goodbye, My Beloved Fatherland." Rizal is considered a national hero in the Philippines, and his poem was later recited by Indonesian soldiers prior to battle during the Indonesian National Revolution in the 1940s.

"My Last Farewell" is required reading in schools in the Philippines. It is 14 stanzas long, and lauded for its nationalism. Rizal emphasizes in the poem that in his death, he is finally finding freedom from the oppression and enslavement the Filipinos faced at the hands of the Spanish.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What essays were written by Jose Rizal?

    A:

    “El Amor Patrio” (The Love of Country), Revista De Madrid” (Review of Madrid), “Los Agricultores Filipinos” (The Filipino Farmers) and “A La Defensa” (To La Defensa) are all essays written by Jose Rizal. He also wrote “Los Viajes” (Travels) and “La Verdad Para Todos” (The Truth for All).

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  • Q:

    Why is Jose Rizal considered the national hero of the Philippines?

    A:

    While Jose Rizal is considered a national hero by many for his pivotal role in the Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards, there is no official national hero of the Philippines. In 1898, December 30 was declared a national day of mourning for the death of Rizal and others during the revolution.

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  • Q:

    What is the summary of "Hymn to Labor" by Jose Rizal?

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    The poem "The Hymn of Labor" by Jose Rizal is a call to labor that focuses on four different groups of Filipino society: the men, wives, maidens and children. Each of these groups has its own stanza and chorus in the hymn.

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  • Q:

    What are comparisons between Rizal and Bonifacio?

    A:

    Though they differed in their approach to achieving national pride, reform and independence, Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio are both highly regarded as Philippine heroes. Rizal was in favor of a pacifist approach to reform, whereas Bonifacio opposed the Spanish colonial rule through military engagement.

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