Death the Leveller Questions and Answers

Death the Leveller

The poem "Death the Leveller" contains a line at the end of the poem which states: Upon Death's purple alter now. The reference to the color purple is very important in this line given the...

Latest answer posted August 22, 2011, 8:35 am (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

In this poem, James Shirley, a seventeenth-century writer primarily known as a dramatist, versifies on a theme popularized in the Middle Ages: the idea that death levels or makes us all equal. In...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2019, 8:28 pm (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

The poem "Death the Leveller" by James Shirley tells of the futility of the trappings of human pride in the face of death, because death comes to all. Shirley points out that genealogy, the country...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2019, 3:06 am (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

James Shirley's "Death the Leveller" deals with themes that are quite ubiquitous now: that there is no escape from death's finality and that it is, in the end, the great equalizer. You can consider...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2018, 4:46 pm (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

In "Death the Leveller," James Shirley reminds us that death ultimately brings everyone down to the same level. It doesn't matter how rich or powerful you are: whether you're a king, a queen, or a...

Latest answer posted January 18, 2020, 10:57 am (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

From James Shirley’s Death the Leveller, these lines are voicing the sentiment that prevailed in the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, that reputation, rank, high birth, etc. are no protection...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2012, 6:16 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Death the Leveller

In order to help you answer your question, I would first of all like to point out that the poet reminds his readers through this poem, "Death the Leveller," that death will ultimately come to...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2021, 10:37 am (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

Metaphor: In this poem, the speaker uses an "icy hand" (line 4) being laid as a metaphor for dying. The personification of death is a common image used in poems. That somebody—in this case, a...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2019, 3:27 am (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

In the third line of the poem, the speaker declares, "There is no armour against fate." The meaning of this is that nobody can protect themselves against death, which is everybody's inescapable...

Latest answer posted August 1, 2021, 9:04 am (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

Throughout most of the poem "Death the Leveller," the author James Shirley brings out the point that in death, all people are equal, because death comes to all. "The glories of our blood and...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2019, 1:55 am (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

James Shirley begins his poem “Death the Leveller” with a metaphor. “The glories of our blood and state,” he notes, “Are shadows, not substantial things.” Notice how he compares the glories of...

Latest answer posted June 2, 2021, 7:02 pm (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

In James Shirley's poem "Death the Leveller," the speaker describes men with swords who "reap the field" in battle. They kill their enemies as if they were mowing down wheat. These warriors appear...

Latest answer posted August 18, 2021, 12:14 am (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

The idea of a “leveller” can be understood literally and figuratively in James Shirley’s poem. To support his underlying message that death ultimately takes every living person, the poet offers a...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2019, 2:20 am (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

As the speaker tells us in the opening lines of the poem, the "glories of our blood and state" are shadows, not substantial things. What he means by this is that our mortal state isn't real; it's...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2019, 7:42 am (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

In the second stanza of the poem, the narrator describes soldiers as "men with swords" who "reap the field." In other words, these soldiers use their swords to mow down their enemies in battle,...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2019, 12:43 pm (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

This poem, a standard device, warns humans about thinking that social status, rank, royalty, etc. exempts one from the final fate of all. The sentiment, not really addressed to those who have rank...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2012, 4:04 pm (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

Interpretation of any work is based solely upon Reader-Response. Therefore, many different justifiable interpretations of a text can be made and still hold water based upon the fact that, many...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2011, 8:36 am (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

Personifications of Death often show him wielding a scythe, but in Shirley's poem "Death the Leveller," the scythe belongs not to Death but to one of the dead. At the end of the first stanza, the...

Latest answer posted October 1, 2019, 2:20 pm (UTC)

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Death the Leveller

The poem "Death the Leveller" by James Shirley was a part of the author's play called The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses for the Armour of Achilles, which was published in 1659. Within the play,...

Latest answer posted May 24, 2021, 4:34 pm (UTC)

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