Ofermod Poem Analysis

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Humans have always wanted to be at the top, even during the Stone Age. No one in their right mind wants to be left behind or looked at in a negative light, and that is exactly what the poem Ofermod highlights in relation to human behaviour and reactions. Range (the author), uses imagery, tone shifts, and metaphors to point to the fact that society puts demeaning labels on certain groups, which can hurt those groups mentally and physically, because they will do anything to avoid or disprove those labels. In this particular poem, overpride is the reaction to the negative labels that the town is trying to avoid.

Imagery is used throughout the poem, to give a feel of some of the things the town does to defy the negative label. One example of
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She states that their stiff-necked town always always had something stupid to prove, which means the speaker recognizes the town has a problem, and it trying to have too much of pride is a bad idea. She also calls her town “stiff”, which most likely means the town doesn’t like to change; it always wants to be or do things one way. The speaker also mentions how her sister behaves; cussing everyone out, regardless of their positions/professions, and then says how she “finishes” everything. The reader can conclude the speaker does have some level of respect for her sister, despite the fact that she might have a problem with her sister’s pride. We can also infer she still loves her sister for who she is, because they go through the same problem, the only thing different being how they handle it. How the speaker handles it herself is just like the rest of the town does, and that is why we can conclude the speaker herself has a lot of pride, whether it is for her sister or how others see her. She says that she doesn’t tell anyone when she doesn’t have any food, because she was told that being in debt is a sin. In a way, her pride is justified, because she has a reason for why she will always want to be self-independent and prideful, even at the risk of her own health. That means even though she realizes the harm that is being caused by …show more content…
The speaker basically calls herself the campaigner, while her sister is Byrhtnoth, the warrior commander of a pack of troops. The battle turns out to be a mistake on Byrhtnoth’s judgement, that came as a result of his over-pride: he invited the Vikings to fight where they are most comfortable (close range), while giving up his advantage of being higher up. Byrhtnoth dies a a result of this, which is the speaker’s comparison to her sister. What she is trying to say is whether labels are put on them or not, they need to not get affected by it and react with overpride. Maybe they need to submit to the fact that sometimes, we need people to help us at different points in life, because we can’t fight the Vikings if we are at major disadvantages. Instead of responding with defiance and overpride, the speaker is trying to say that they should take things easier on themselves, not making things harder for themselves. But even with this said, it might be hard for humans to do this, because it is ingrained in us to be self-dependent and to be the best that there is. In conclusion, Ofermod is about the problems of labels, specifically towards people who are perceived as poor. Range had used figurative language to show this, with the reaction the speaker’s town giving being too proud. Although it solved their problem of stigma, it did not help their

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