Title: The title can suggest two different things because “dying young” can be interpreted differently figuratively and literally. Literally, it would mean that the athlete was dying. Figuratively, it would mean that the athlete’s career was coming to an end earlier than expected perhaps because he was sick or injured. Paraphrase: The speaker is specifically addressing the “athlete dying young” but is addressing everyone in general. When you won the town race, everyone congratulated and cheered for you. However, today we bring you home after you finished your long race. You’re smart for leaving the world before glory left you.
Though victory and subsequent glory comes early, it withers away faster than a rose. Now since you are dead, you cannot see or hear anything. At least your fame and glory stays with you as you died. Many people’s renown and fame left them before they left. So leave the world before fame’s echo fades. Then your fame will last forever and you will be well known for your achievement. Connotation: Form – This poem is kind of like an eulogy because it praises the athlete who died/is dying young.
In stanza 3, the speaker seems to be praising the athlete by stating, “Smart lad, to slip betimes away From fields where glory does not stay. He’s basically saying, “Yay. Good job on dying young. ” Diction – The diction is relatively easy to read and seems very conventional. This makes it seem as if the poem was not specifically for the athlete or athletes but for everyone. Imagery – The imagery makes the poem seem more elegiac. Stanza 3: “And early though the laurel grows It withers quicker than the rose. ” Stanza 7: “Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead” Point of View – The POV seems to be that of a fellow resident of the town the “athlete dying young” resided in. “We chaired you through… we bring you home” Details – There are a lot of details on life/death and glory/fame.
Allusions – There is an allusion to the time of the Greeks. It was customary in ancient Greece to crown champion athletes with wreaths with leaves from laurel trees. Stanza 3: And early though the laurel grows. Stanza 7: “And round that early-laurelled head” Symbolism – In stanza 2, the “road all runners come” symbolizes life and how it eventually leads to death. In stanza 3. the laurel symbolizes glory and fame while the rose symbolizes how beauty/victory/life is ephemeral. Figurative Language – In stanza 2, there is a metaphor dealing with the “stiller town. ” Basically, there is a comparison of a cemetery/graveyard to a town.
Also, in stanza 4, the “shady night” is a comparison of night to death. Attitude: Well, at first, I thought the tone was depressing because it was mournful of an athlete who died young. However, the speaker’s tone seems to be more reverential than mournful because the praises the speaker gives to the athlete makes it seem as if dying young is better. The speaker states that since he died young, his fame/glory is fresh and everlasting and that this is better than “runners whom renown outran [them]. ” Shifts: There is shift from the first stanza to the second stanza and then from the second to the third.
From then on the stanzas are mostly positive. The first stanza is quite celebratory. Everyone is celebrating the athlete who won the race. Then in the second stanza, the mood shifts from cheerful to mournful because the athlete now died. After the second stanzas, all the stanzas are more optimistic. It makes early death seems better than long life. Title: My original opinions of the title are quite similar to my current ones. Basically the poem is about a champion athlete who died early. Due to his early death, his fame lingers on because his accomplishments in life will still be remembered.
The athlete in the poem literally dies but so does his career as well. However, one thing that doesn’t die or decay is the athlete’s accomplishments. Theme(s): The main theme in this poem is between life/death and glory. Life doesn’t last forever and neither does youth nor fame. Since fame/glory is ephemeral like beauty, if you live for too long after your accomplishments, your fame/glory is bound to wither away before you do. However, if you die with achievements, your renown will be fresh and remembered. Yet the consequence to this is that you have to face bitter death.
Courtney from Study Moose
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