Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' An Athlete Dying Young '

1333 Words Mar 17th, 2016 null Page
Irony in To An Athlete Dying Young
A.E. Housman is known for being an English poet and a scholar, during his early stages of life he mostly critiques other poets. Through Housman’s poem he uses different literary devices; irony, alliteration, metaphors. Irony (death) is used to be the main theme of this poem, each stanza is ironic in their own way. Alliteration appears only in a few lines to demonstrate feelings. Metaphors are used to show the contrast from before to after. In To An Athlete Dying Young, A.E. Housman uses irony to describe a character who overcomes all his accomplishments by time, memory, and the victories of others. The poem begins with “the time you won your town the race we chaired you through the market-place man and boy stood cheering by, and home we brought you shoulder-high” (1-4). This first stanza recollects the young athlete being carried away on the townspeople 's shoulders after winning a race. Therefore, following lines after going into the athlete’s current situation: being dead. These lines are an extended metaphor to the athlete dying, “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” (5-8). It quickly shows a contrast between how one moment he is carried for an accomplishment and it’s a good cause, but soon after he is dead, being carried away in a casket.
Housman says that no remorse should be felt for this athlete because he is dying a champion because he…

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