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An Elegy On The Death Of A Mad Dog Analysis



Author: poem of Oliver Goldsmith Type: poem Views: 9


Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.

In Islington there was a man
Of whom the world might say,
That still a godly race he ran—
Whene'er he went to pray.

A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad—
When he put on his clothes.

And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And curs of low degree.

This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad, and bit the man.

Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wond'ring neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost its wits
To bite so good a man.

The wound it seemed both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.

But soon a wonder came to light
That showed the rogues they lied,—
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died!

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




.: :.

the dog was more poisonous not the man the poem tell the man was honest and kind. god wished that such man should live and serve others. so god saved the good man and killed the unfaithful dog who bit the good man.

| Posted on 2013-01-06 | by a guest


.: :.

It\'s not an analysis but a question
\"What according to you could be the connotation of the word \"bite\"
HELP HELP H!!ElP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP!!

| Posted on 2012-07-03 | by a guest


.: :.

oliver goldsmith has very smartly written a satirical poem in a undertone way. if read just plainly it state that the man was good and as the dog was at fault, he died in the end. but right from the start, the poet signals us a very different tone. at the start it states that the poem will give us a bit of shock. it even states that the man described in the poem, seems godly and kind ONLY when he dresses himself(not others) and when he goes to pray(not any other time). this shows that he's just a fake personality. the dog on the other side can be taken as symbol of poor or dethroned virtuos people who are not getting what they deserve because of such 'godly' people around. hence, to meet their private ends i.e to take revenge, the dog bites the man. poet also personifies the dog with human quality of gaining private ends. the neighbours- here being the typical and stereotype image of gossip gradually spread the news and are peeping in the matter of the bite. they predict that due to the bite the man will die. which is a very obvious remark. the poet also states the neighbours to be non christians i,e they have not followed the rules of the bible-probably. so according to the poet, surprisingly to every christian eye, the dog dies and the man survives at the end. this shows that the man contained more poison in him than the dog and at the end, the evil survives and the good is sacrificed. thus this poem is a bang-on on the reality of life.

| Posted on 2012-07-01 | by a guest


.: :.

Well, I suppose the poem could be interpreted either way, as irony or uplift. Clothing the naked when he dressed could be biting satire or a terse way to say that following John the Baptist\'s charge, he dally gave away clothes with the needy. The \"godly race he ran,\" \"when he went to pray\" could refer to hypocracy, but it echoes the Apostle Paul\'s valedictory that he\'d \"run the good race.\" And so on. Personally, I\'m not sure I\'ve run across a more felicitous reminder that evil may appear to win the day, but in the end the good is vindcated, with the exception, of course, for the death and resurrection of Christ.

| Posted on 2012-04-28 | by a guest


.: :.

oliver goldsmith has very smartly written a satirical poem in a undertone way. if read just plainly it state that the man was good and as the dog was at fault, he died in the end. but right from the start, the poet signals us a very different tone. at the start it states that the poem will give us a bit of shock. it even states that the man described in the poem, seems godly and kind ONLY when he dresses himself(not others) and when he goes to pray(not any other time). this shows that he\'s just a fake personality. the dog on the other side can be taken as symbol of poor or dethroned virtuos people who are not getting what they deserve because of such \'godly\' people around. hence, to meet their private ends i.e to take revenge, the dog bites the man. poet also personifies the dog with human quality of gaining private ends. the neighbours- here being the typical and stereotype image of gossip gradually spread the news and are peeping in the matter of the bite. they predict that due to the bite the man will die. which is a very obvious remark. the poet also states the neighbours to be non christians i,e they have not followed the rules of the bible-probably. so according to the poet, surprisingly to every christian eye, the dog dies and the man survives at the end. this shows that the man contained more poison in him than the dog and at the end, the evil survives and the good is sacrificed. thus this poem is a bang-on on the reality of life.

| Posted on 2012-03-08 | by a guest


.: :.

oliver goldsmith has very smartly written a satirical poem in a undertone way. if read just plainly it state that the man was good and as the dog was at fault, he died in the end. but right from the start, the poet signals us a very different tone. at the start it states that the poem will give us a bit of shock. it even states that the man described in the poem, seems godly and kind ONLY when he dresses himself(not others) and when he goes to pray(not any other time). this shows that he\'s just a fake personality. the dog on the other side can be taken as symbol of poor or dethroned virtuos people who are not getting what they deserve because of such \'godly\' people around. hence, to meet their private ends i.e to take revenge, the dog bites the man. poet also personifies the dog with human quality of gaining private ends. the neighbours- here being the typical and stereotype image of gossip gradually spread the news and are peeping in the matter of the bite. they predict that due to the bite the man will die. which is a very obvious remark. the poet also states the neighbours to be non christians i,e they have not followed the rules of the bible-probably. so according to the poet, surprisingly to every christian eye, the dog dies and the man survives at the end. this shows that the man contained more poison in him than the dog and at the end, the evil survives and the good is sacrificed. thus this poem is a bang-on on the reality of life.

| Posted on 2012-03-08 | by a guest


.: :.

oliver goldsmith has very smartly written a satirical poem in a undertone way. if read just plainly it state that the man was good and as the dog was at fault, he died in the end. but right from the start, the poet signals us a very different tone. at the start it states that the poem will give us a bit of shock. it even states that the man described in the poem, seems godly and kind ONLY when he dresses himself(not others) and when he goes to pray(not any other time). this shows that he\'s just a fake personality. the dog on the other side can be taken as symbol of poor or dethroned virtuos people who are not getting what they deserve because of such \'godly\' people around. hence, to meet their private ends i.e to take revenge, the dog bites the man. poet also personifies the dog with human quality of gaining private ends. the neighbours- here being the typical and stereotype image of gossip gradually spread the news and are peeping in the matter of the bite. they predict that due to the bite the man will die. which is a very obvious remark. the poet also states the neighbours to be non christians i,e they have not followed the rules of the bible-probably. so according to the poet, surprisingly to every christian eye, the dog dies and the man survives at the end. this shows that the man contained more poison in him than the dog and at the end, the evil survives and the good is sacrificed. thus this poem is a bang-on on the reality of life.

| Posted on 2012-03-08 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem comes from \" THe Vicar of Wakefield\".The man is not as he seems, a striking feature of the antisocial personality individual is their superficial charm and their ability to deceive others.

| Posted on 2011-07-30 | by a guest


.: :.

In the world of the concrete, a \"mad\"(rabid) animal infects the victim by delivering saliva through the skin. A wound can be inflicted, even draw blood, by sinking of teeth, without saliva passing through the skin. The rabid animal, as usual, dies. It\'s only a joke, enhanced with ironical remarks. Oh look, the dog must be the victim of the man.

| Posted on 2011-04-13 | by a guest


.: :.

The whole poem is written in irony. \"If you find it wondrous short / it cannot hold you long\" is an indication that this is a humorous piece not meant to be taken seriously - as does the pompous opening line. The fact that the man lives in the (then) new suburb of Islington to the North of the City of London shows that it is aimed as a barb at the fashionable set of the day. then follow several statements that this person was godly, clad the naked etc but in terms that he did nothing special - he was godly when he prayed (i.e. not really godly at all) and clothed the naked when he dressed (i.e. he was selfish and self-centred, not generous). I ask you whose kind and gentle heart comforts both friends and foes?!
The dog bites the man to gain some *private* ends - i.e. bites him in the privates. Now, I ask you, what person would assume that a dog realized how good a man was? But here the neighbours say that the dog had to be bad to bite so good a man - this is extreme irony.
\"While they swore the dog was mad, they swore the man must die\" - this is obvious, a person bitten by a mad dog must die; but the qualifier while suggests that they stopped at some point. The dog dies for biting someone so selfish and poisonous. The neighbours are described as rogues, meaning that they were no Christians - i.e. contradicting an assumption the reader makes in the previous verse.
This verse is written with a supremely wry twinkle in the eye of the writer, it is jokey, iambic rhythm is satyrical, and on reflection the assertions which sound like praise are all damning condemnations. It is almost nonsense verse but actually supremely witty.

| Posted on 2010-11-24 | by a guest


.: :.

Well it will take a blind man not to understand the irony which is running unbridled through the poem till the last word. Any one remotely trying to justify this as a poem glorifying god is rowing with both oars. The very fact he runs a race to be in gods good books gives us the hint of what is to come. His self centered nature is quite evident when he clothes himself to clad the naked around. He specifies that the wound appeared sore to every " Christian" eye taking a direct dig at the church implying the shallowness and pompous nature of the so called Men Of God. Then he himself calls them rogues and of course the ultimate killer punch is delivered when he says the dog died because of biting such a poisonous man

| Posted on 2010-06-29 | by a guest


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Re the 2010-01-18 post, I too have always seen the poem lending itself most fittingly to that interpretation. I agree with Lonsdale in his excellent book 'The Poems of Gray, Collins, and Goldsmith' when he points out that the 'Elegy' perhaps echoes in sentiment Voltaire's 'Epigramme imitee de l'Anthologie' ("L'autre jour, au fond d'un vallon, / Un serpent piqua Jean Freron. / Que pensez-vous qu'il arriva?/ Ce fut le serpent qui creva.")
This in its turn draws on Democritus (from the 'Greek Anthology' of Voltaire's mention): 'An evil viper once bit a Cappadocian ; but it died itself having tasted the venomous blood.' That is the most explicit of all, though of course the chain of derivation is by no means the only one Goldsmith may have had in mind.
It is easier to see the true significance of the poem when it is placed in context: a Vicar has asked his son to sing it for him, having 'wept so much at all sorts of elegies of late', and needing some light relief. However, as the first stanza warns us: 'And if you find it woundrous hort, It cannot hold you long.': if we take it simply at face value as a moral fable or even a shallow comedy, its lesson will not take us far. Though of course this is merely my own opinion.

| Posted on 2010-05-01 | by a guest


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The man was viewed as a saintly good person, but the dog died because he bit the poisonous, secretly vile man. That is to say that the man was worse than a mad dog.

| Posted on 2010-01-18 | by a guest


.: :.

The most likely reading of this poem, I believe, would actually be by considering it a satirical look at how we percieve others - especially the "Godly" around us.
The man, for instance, clothed the naked "when HE put on his clothes". (Clearly not straight-forward praise of this man's good deeds). He also ran a godly race WHEN EVER he went to pray. The tone the author uses here seems to be ironic. Simply put: The good man's esteem was overrated by the towns people.
Therefore, saying that this poem is showing "good deeds = heavenly rewards" (the dog died, not the man), is likely NOT an accurate reading, for it doesn't take into account the tone of the poet. Also, saying that it's a parodox (bad things happen to good people randomly) is also not accurate -for if the man was indeed good, he lived in the end anyway, so where is the parodox in that?
No, what this poem seems to be getting at is, using irony and satire, may be closer to the idea that we often project false virtues on people we deem to be "rightous" without actually knowing at all, or perhaps the hypocritical nature of people of esteem. The statement that the dog went mad and bit the man is in the tone of the ironic (or misled, depending how you read it) narrator - therefore, you can safetly assume that the dog didn't go "mad" - but perhaps that the bite was justly deserved. And when the DOG dies at the end, it may very likely be implying that it was the man who was diseased/poisonous, and the act of biting such a man killed the poor dog.

| Posted on 2010-01-18 | by a guest


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Nothing especially protects the God-ly and simply living among one's peers with their plentitude of curs of low degree allows for exemplary men to be struck down . the whole paradox of the senseless and random punishment of the good and innocent is somehow atoned by the humor of the dog's dying.
(Earthclod, Orlando, Florida)

| Posted on 2009-07-12 | by a guest


.: :.

Nothing especially protects the God-ly and simply living among one's peers with their plentitude of curs of low degree allows for exemplary men to be struck down . the whole paradox of the senseless and random punishment of the good and innocent is somehow atoned by the humor of the dog's dying.

| Posted on 2009-07-12 | by a guest


.: :.

In this poem Oliver is talking about a very wise man in Islington. He used to sing and said that all good people heard him sing. The people said that he still competes with God whenever he goes to pray. He was very kind and gentle at heart. He helped everyone, be it his friends or his foes. He dressed up and went out everyday. That day he found a dog in the town, may be a lost dog. This dog became his friend. But though this man was loving by nature, he petted other animals also. This dog was jealous and wanted his masterís attention. In the rage of anger, he bit the man. All neighbours ran away from the dog towards this man. They banked that the dog had lost its senses, how could he bite such a nice man? The wound was very bad, every one pitied the man. They banked no doubt the dog had gone mad, but even the man would not survive. But soon a miracle happened. The man recovered of the bite and the mad dog died.
The poet is trying to say that if we are good human beings, God will always be kind wit us. If we do good deeds, we get good rewards. No doubt God tests the good people, but we should be good human beings and God will help us come out of every problem in life.
(Sweety Gurnani, India)

| Posted on 2009-05-14 | by a guest




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