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“To an Athlete Dying Young”, “Death Be Not Proud” Essay

This essay is based on two poems, “To an Athlete Dying Young” by A.E Housman and “Death Be Not Proud” by John Donne. In both poems the authors convey messages about death. In “Death Be Not Proud” John Donne is conveying a message to death of fearlessness, he is letting death know that he is not afraid of passing on when the time comes. In “To an Athlete Dying Young” by A.E. Housman is conveying a message of everlasting glory, Housman believes that if you pass on before someone is able to beat you then you will forever be a winner. In both poems death is an event that one can be proud of.

In “To an Athlete Dying Young” Housman states “smart lad, to slip betimes away from fields where glory does not stay” (589). Housman is inferring that it was wise for the athlete to die early in his career while he was in his prime and also still in the minds of the townsmen. In “Death, Be Not Proud” John Donne states “ And soonest our best men with thee do go rest of their bones and soul’s delivery (567). Donne is inferring that dying is as if someone was to be Brooks 2 sleeping, he is minizing death. Normally death is something that people fear but in these two statements death is bringing pleasure, not pain.

In “Death, Be Not Proud” Donne states “Death be proud, though some have call Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so (567). This statement is inferring that death is really not as scary or as powerful as most people think. “To an Athlete Dying Young” Housman states “To-day, the road all runners come, shoulder- high we bring you home, And set you at your threshold down, Townsman of a stiller town (589). Housman is inferring that the athlete would be bought to his final resting place. Donne’s quote expressed something that is not scary, in relation to “To an Athlete Dying Young” the athletes funeral was more of a celebration and not a sad or scary occasion.


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