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Analysis and comments on Behold, the grave of a wicked man by Stephen Crane

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Comment 12 of 72, added on July 9th, 2012 at 5:43 AM.
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Comment 11 of 72, added on March 20th, 2012 at 5:48 PM.
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Comment 9 of 72, added on March 9th, 2012 at 1:31 AM.
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Comment 8 of 72, added on March 9th, 2012 at 1:30 AM.
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Comment 7 of 72, added on March 9th, 2012 at 12:42 AM.
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Comment 6 of 72, added on July 18th, 2009 at 10:17 PM.

My first reaction was that the poem wasn't about the man at all but about
the maid. The spirit was just in that he is releasing her from her
oppresser but she does not see it that way because maybe she is suffering
something like a mild form of "stockholm syndrome". Remember Patty Hearst
or Elizabeth Smart. Its something the mind does to protect itself when they
spend alot of time with thier capture they begin to relate to, side with
and even morn the loss of thier capture. When Crane wrote this it hadn't
been diagnosed, maybe he should have been a shrink instead of a poet?

hedy from United States
Comment 5 of 72, added on April 12th, 2006 at 2:00 AM.

The point of this poem is simple: No matter how evil a person may be,
he/she has, in the deepest part of themselves, something loveable, and
genuinely worthy of love. The spirit denies that. "evil is evil"
but the truth is that everyone has good in them and almost everyone has, in
their lives, someone who can see that Good, and mourn it...
Think of someone you detest, and ask yourself, honestly, if perhaps they
have some good in them...

Philip from United States
Comment 4 of 72, added on August 25th, 2005 at 4:46 AM.

There is more to a meaningful life than 'justice'. Whatever that is, that
thing beyond our judgements of right and wrong, that is real justice.
Besides, IF anyone (sane), even one, could weep for someone...

Nimal from Australia
Comment 3 of 72, added on July 12th, 2005 at 12:35 PM.

The key is in the last two lines 'if the spirit is just, why did the maiden
weep'

It is a comment on society and religion and our notions of what we beleive
should happen to someone that is 'wicked' As a society we seek to punish
those who do something we consider wrong (theft, murder, etc.) and fail to
see them as more than a sum of their actions. We are in such a tizzy to
eliminate such things that we don't see them as having lives, families, or
motivations for their actions. In the poem a woman comes to mourn for the
man she lost - but society does not allow that becuase he is a 'wicked man'
and those no one cares for him. Crane is asking if removing someone so far
from emotions and their family is a just thing and asking us to consider
all sides of an individual. Heck, even hitler had parents - don't we give
him more power by villianizing him rather than showing him as an extremely
flawed human being?

MLee from United States

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Information about Behold, the grave of a wicked man

Poet: Stephen Crane
Poem: 25. Behold, the grave of a wicked man
Volume: The Black Riders & Other Lines
Year: 1905
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 11596 times
Poem of the Day: May 4 2011


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