“If We Must Die” analysis essay

Posted: February 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

If We Must Die

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

The three poems we read the past Friday were all about Death, either embracing it or rejecting it. I chose to analyze this poem because it painted the most vivid image in my mind and i was better able to understand its purpose. the plot of the poem is about some group of people that is being unfairly treated and perhaps even uselessly killed for no real reason. the main gist, is that they have had enough.

One or more people of this group has risen up to destroy their oppressors, saying that if they must die, they will die on their feet, fighting for what they believe in. And giving their adversaries a living hell for trying to take it away from them. this poem could be related to many of humanities situations. It could be related to the jews fighting back against the evil Nazi’s as they were rounded up into gas chambers. It could be about two warring kingdoms, where one is simply taking what it desires and killing the other one off for simple pleasure and enjoyment. And as stated in class, it could be about the African American uprising to fight for the rights to be treated equally among other citizens. Or even something as simple as a boxer pinned down for the final count, and rising up to take victory. the poem could be related to endless situations and scenarios, but the message is Universal.

All humans, animals, and life has a breaking point. there is a time where one person can only take so much abuse and finally decides to say “enough is enough” and rises up to take on that which has beaten it down. no one could take everything that is thrown at them.. the most common situation that I could relate this poem to would be the bullying I endured in my younger years. Day after day I was tormented and teased and never had the spine to do anything about it, until one day, the insults just piled up too high, and something inside of me snapped, and I fought back. whether the situation be vast, or insignificant. the existence of this breaking point will always remain the same. a human being can only take so much.

  1. hpowers1968 says:


    Nice job. Connecting the poem to specific examples–especially your own experience–makes your argument clear.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s