Epitaph On A Soldier Analysis

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The Glorification of Psychological Harm
“Epitaph on a Soldier,” by Cyril Tourneur, an English soldier and diplomat during the 16th and 17th centuries, depicts the honorable death of a soldier during a time when war was glorious and fighting for one’s country was almost customary. Meanwhile, in “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner,” the 20th century poet Randall Jarrell illustrates a more bleak image of gunner’s blunt and harsh death during World War II, when war became less magnificent and much more brutal. The reassuring and honoring tone in “Epitaph on a Soldier” expresses that the triumphant experiences of war cause a young soldier to become mature so that his life is complete, while the bitter and disturbed tone in “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” communicates that a soldier’s grim time in war and subsequent death is, in reality, devoid of all glory and only mentally scars a soldier.
“Epitaph on a
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Although in the literal sense the soldier is “young deprived of death”, he is “aged in virtue,” and, accordingly, like someone who is actually aged, he did not have an “untimely death” (7, 5, 8). While he does not live for as long as most, his life is nevertheless complete because of his experiences in war. Age can be thought of as the gathering of experience throughout one’s life, as a person who has little life experience is affected and reacts to their surroundings and circumstances much differently than someone who has had much more life experience. In this man’s case, his heroic time on the battlefield is what has given him this experience. Tourneur uses this idea to reassure his audience by explaining that although a soldier may lead a short life, his exposure to the glorious conditions of war matures him and grants him a complete
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