A.E. Housman's "To an Athlete Dying Young"
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This paper contends that Housman seems to be presenting a very simple, and maybe even simplistic view, of the merits of dying in one's prime. The author points out that Housman ends his exultation on the sorrows of prowess forgotten with the reassurance that this athlete will be greeted by crowds of the "strengthless dead", who will appreciate his athletic ability in the afterlife. The paper relates that many legends, myths, and even religious texts are based on the strange parallels between victory and death and on the child that dies young and, therefore, never grows up.
From the Paper:"This stanza is worth pausing on for a moment because of its important metaphorical content. One notices that at first read it could be taken as almost a repeat of the previous stanza. The boy is brought home on cheering shoulders in stanza one, and then again he is brought home "shoulder high" in stanza two. Only the title of the poem gives the reader pause. Then, reading on, it is certain that this second stanza refers not to a victory, but to a funeral procession."
Cite this Analytical Essay:
A.E. Housman's "To an Athlete Dying Young" (2004, February 23) Retrieved April 07, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/a-e-housman-to-an-athlete-dying-young-49052/
"A.E. Housman's "To an Athlete Dying Young"" 23 February 2004. Web. 07 April. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/a-e-housman-to-an-athlete-dying-young-49052/>