It is also treated as a funeral song. It says that death is a great leveler. The high and the low, the mighty and the meek, the rich and the poor are all equal before death. This is a very common idea, but Shirley gives depth and vividness to this common truth.
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Death will fall on a rich king and on a poor man equally. Even the strongest of conquerors one day kneel down and is defeated by the power of Death. Sooner or later, everyone dies. In the third stanza, the poet pictures death as a force that brings equality. Those who won and those who lose are made equal by Death because death is the ultimate equalizer. Every person goes to the grave in the end. The last two lines say that if there is anything that is going to last after a person has died, it is the good work that he does while he is alive and people remember them for those good work.
Read the lines from the poem and answer the questions that follow: 1. The glories of our blood and state Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armour against Fate; Death lays his icy hand on kings: a Why does the poet say that the glories are shadows? Ans: a By glories and shadows, the poet wants to send the message that no matter how great our achievements are, in the end, or at death, nothing matters.
The glories mean nothing. In death everybody is equal. Wealth, religion, caste, class, etc. Death befalls on everyone equally regardless of being a king or a pauper. In this line, death is personified as a living entity with icy cold hands who makes everyone equal when he touches them.
The garlands wither on your brow; Then boast no more your mighty deeds! Why does he do so? The poet described the altar of death as purple for the same reason.
He used the expression in the poem to depict equality of both in front of death. Think and Answer 1. Does the title of the poem give an indication about the theme of the poem? In the poem, the poet tries to convey the message that death is the ultimate equaliser. It equalizes the difference between the rich and the poor and fills the gap between the victor and the victim. All are equal before death and no one is Immortal. The poem says that death is inevitable.
A person cannot be spared by death on the basis of his high birth or high status. Even the great warriors who defeated others and earned name and fame, cannot defeat death. They become captive in the hands of death and creep to tombs.
Thus, death is a great leveller. Further, the poet reminds that these things are insignificant and like shadows which remain till the person is alive and there is no armour against fate. He says that every mighty king and his staffs have to come to dust and death lays his icy hands on every man irrespective of caste, creed, status etc. Extra questions and answers 1.
Why does the poet feel so? He adds that when death comes, death really does not care about these things. The poet feels so because there is no armour against fate. He says that every mighty king and his staff have to come to dust and death lays his icy hands on every man irrespective of caste, creed, status etc. What are the two classes of people that the poet talks about in the second last stanza?
What does he want them about? He warns them that they would not be spared by death and both of them will bleed on the purple altar of death. What does the poet say about strength and courage? But the only thing that remains immortal is the noble deeds of a person. Describe the character of death as presented by the poet by selecting words and phrases from the poem. About death, the poet says that death does not discriminate between the rich and the poor.
The glories of our blood and state cannot save us from death. The great warriors or courageous men may earn name and fame through their deeds but they are bound to creep to death. Both the victor and the victim are sacrificed upon the purple alter of death. Death is certain, impartial and powerful as stated in the poem.
Why is the final couplet separated from the rest of the poem? In the above stanzas, the poet depicts the power of death and says that everyone is powerless before death. But in the last two lines, the poet says that noble deeds of a person remain immortal so death may destroy a person but not his noble deeds through which a person can become immortal though he is not physically present.
This poem highlights the uselessness of worldly power. What is it that cannot be snatched by death? The things which cannot be snatched by death are the noble deeds of a person. They always remain immortal. The noble deeds of a person are like sweet-scented flowers that spread the message of nobility in the same manner as the flowers spread their fragrance in the air.
The poet says in these two lines that the noble deeds of a person remain immortal and a person survives even after his death. Death can destroy everything but it becomes powerless before the noble actions of a person. He is a journalist, a blogger, a creative writer, and a teacher.
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Death the Leveller
Death will fall on a rich king and on a poor man equally. Even the strongest of conquerors one day kneel down and is defeated by the power of Death. Sooner or later, everyone dies. In the third stanza, the poet pictures death as a force that brings equality. Those who won and those who lose are made equal by Death because death is the ultimate equalizer. Every person goes to the grave in the end.
DEATH THE LEVELLER (POEM) – JAMES SHIRLEY
The poem Death the Leveller by James Shirley is structured into three stanzas with eight lines each. The understanding of the poem is fundamental in its allegation that death is a force that haunts all of what human beings do. This is repeated in a couple of places in the poem. It discusses the concept of artificial notions of success and victory. It also identifies the death that looms over us. Shirley strongly believes that death is symbolic and is inescapable. This pattern is in the following stanzas too.
Death The Leveller - Poem by James Shirley
It presents a vividly personified picture of death as the ultimate conqueror in whose realm perfect equality prevails. No armour offers protection from the merciless hands of death. The ultimate leveller comes and lays his icy hands on kings and clowns alike. Worldly victory and success too are futile before death. Some men reap and heap enemy heads in the battlefield and win laurels to adorn their heads.