Adrienne Rich's Poetry and Prose

Give me the interpretation of each stanza of "Death The Leveller" by james shirley. by John Donne.

please give me description of every stanza.

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Here is a pretty good interpretation: Source-link is below.

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. It undercuts all successes of man with the statement that death is the end point in everything we do, thus the title “Death the Leveller”. Shirley strongly believes that death is symbolic and is inescapable.

The rhyme scheme is set throughout the poem of A-B-A-B-C-C-D-D. For example, in the first stanza, “state” and “fate” s complemented by “things” and “kings”. The last four lines of the stanza also rhyme but it couplets such as “crown” and “down”. This pattern is in the following stanzas too. The pattern helps create a rhythm as the first four lines of each stanza illustrate and the last four lines recap and gives more depth to the poem.

The opening lines of the first stanza, nationwide glory and triumph in war is totally offset with the certainty that death is always hanging over us, ready to terminate us. We can see this meaning displayed throughout the poem, in all stanzas. This is most apparent in the opening lines of the third stanza, where Shirley uses simile which compare the splendour of humans to the withering of garlands.

Shirley uses an oxymoron with the addition of flowers, a symbol nature and peace, to bring light to the pessimistic sequence of death he has displayed throughout the poem, creating a theme.

The theme of the poem is that death is something that should not be apprehended or fought but we as humans should understand that death is a reality, and that we should always keep that in mind. Should we find ourselves and the feet of the natural force of death, Shirley is proposing that we should live our lives differently as to not fear death when it comes for us.

He is using imagery that forms the depiction of human glory being limited and hasty in the last moments of our lives, before death takes us away, such as in the first stanza, they way the state of war was described might not have ever happened if people knew that they were mortal and would, too, someday die. And the slavery and murder of innocent victims displayed in the second stanza might have never been preceded. And the jubilation of our successes and approval of the despicable deeds that we have administered might have been seen as ghastly and inappropriate than what had been displayed in the third stanza. Shirley raises the point in his theme or moral of the poem, that death should be appreciated in our actions.

Death the Leveller is a powerful poem that appeals to the reader to think about their actions before carrying them out as it may be the last thing you ever do, because death is looming over us all the time, and can at anytime snatch life away from us before we can begin to ask for forgiveness for the dirty deeds we have committed. Shirley reminds us that we are mortal creatures, us human beings, even if we triumph over our enemies and victims and that we should look at our decisions in a new light because we may never have the chance to “make it right” again. I agree with Shirley’s advice to his readers and I hope that I, too, think about the consequences of my actions before carrying them out.