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Paraphrase "...Under the bludgeonings of chance" in "Invictus."It's really hard

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diallo1238 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 12, 2012 at 6:15 AM via web

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Paraphrase "...Under the bludgeonings of chance" in "Invictus."

It's really hard

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 12, 2012 at 7:01 AM (Answer #1)

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The speaker has evidently lived a long, hard life and has had to suffer numerous unanticipated accidents, disappointments, misfortunes, losses, and possibly episodes of serious illness. A paraphrase should be something like this:

"Under all the unexpected and unavoidable misfortunes, hardships, disappointments, and accidents which a long lifetime holds in store for every mortal" (My head is bloody but unbowed, etc.)

"Bludgeonings" is a pretty strong word. It suggests being beaten over the head with a club or other blunt instrument. However, it is probablly more metaphorical than literal. The line you quote suggests that nobody can anticipate what will happen to him or her in the future, but some bad luck is inevitable. It is largely a matter of  "chance." Looking back over a long lifetime, it could seem that the sheer accumulation of all the painful, unexpected, and unmerited things that occurred were like "bludgeonings."

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