A coward dies a thousand

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a coward dies a thousand

Quote by Ernest Hemingway: “The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave bu...”

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Published 21.01.2019

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Started by Tev , February 20, Can somebody tell me what does this quote mean? And please dumb it down for me because I've read answers and I'm still unable to comprehend what it means.

"A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once"

One of the joys of writing this column is getting comments, both complimenting and agreeing with me as well as criticizing and disagreeing with me. First, sometimes — but not too often, so I like to think — the critics are right. Second, behind every critique there are two undeniable facts: the critic actually read what I wrote, and even more significantly, cared enough about it to comment. There is, however, one caveat sorry, legal jargon still is in my bloodstream. While the internet unfortunately has made anonymity the default identification rather than the exception — one of my pet peeves about the internet — I still reject anonymous criticism, strongly believing that it is at best worthless and at worst highly offensive and all too often unfairly damaging. If you know whether it was, in fact, widely distributed to such parents and students, please let me know.

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Caesar refuses to agree and declares that death has no terror for him. He rises above cowardice and ignores the dangers. He throws a challenge at death and refuses to be frightened by it. He could never have been a greater soldier if he had fear of death. Death is inevitable. Nobody has ever conquered death. Death comes to all-kings and beggars, rich and poor princes in their places and paupers in their huts.

You've already probably figured out that, in this quotation, Shakespeare is drawing a comparison between someone who is a coward that is, someone who is afraid to face the challenges of life, such as dealing with difficult situations, taking risks, and fighting for what he or she believe in and someone who is valiant that is, someone who is brave in facing the challenges of life, is never afraid to face difficult or risky situations, and will always fight for what he or she believes in. When you look at just the first part of the quotation, "Cowards die many times before their deaths," try to think of how someone can actually "die many times" before they actually die. Right away, you realize that Shakespeare is using death as a metaphor because a person can't physically die multiple times in a single lifetime. Here, he uses the metaphor of death to convey how a person feels inside when he or she runs away from a challenge. That person "dies" a little inside each time he or she chickens out, meaning that he or she loses a little strength of character each time he or she refuses to face a challenge of life. Now take the second part of the quotation, "The valiant never taste of death but once. So, Shakespeare isn't using death as a metaphor in this part of the quotation.


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