This poem is built on the issue of death and what death implies. The speaker bases his argument on the fact that death is not the conqueror in life. The speaker indicates that death is neither mighty nor dreadful because "And death shall be no more: Death, thou shalt die!" (McMaha, Day & Funk 580). The speaker is angry and is in disagreement with the perception that death is the conqueror of life.
The poet uses paradox in his criticism of death. This is evident when he says that though death thinks that it conquers life; it is not the case. This is because, upon death, death becomes a slave of the souls of the dead people. "Thou 'art slave to; fate, chance, kings, and desperate men" (9). The poet also largely uses personification in is argument. This is used to emphasize on why death is not the conqueror. "...Death, thou shalt die!" (McMaha, Day & Funk 580)
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The poet has managed to explain why death is not powerful. In his explanation, he notes that death gets the weak people who were ill, poisoned or even injured during the war. Therefore, as more people die, the burden increases. He also notes that eventually, everybody will rise, and death will be no more. At this point, death will be useless. Hence, it is not powerful.
The argument of the speaker is justified on the basis of Christianity. This is because of the beliefs of eternal life after death during the end days. Thus, his approval of his argument depends on one's beliefs. However, the speaker's argument could be rejected because once a person dies; they lose out on certain things in life. Thus, death usually has conquered them.
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