To an Athlete Dying Young

by A. E. Housman

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Student Question

Who is the speaker in "To an Athlete Dying Young" and what is their relationship to the athlete?

Expert Answers

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In my opinion, there is no way to know who the speaker is in any specific way.  The only thing that we really can say about the speakers is that he (or she -- no way to know) is someone from the village.  The speaker talks about how "we" carried the athlete in triumph after the race and then, later, to the grave.

As far as the relationship goes, I think that there is no close relationship between them.  If the speaker were close to the athlete, I think there would be more of a sense of sadness on the speaker's part.  So I would say they did not have any real relationship.

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