We’ve got to admit it: we’re impressed. It takes real guts and chutzpah to stand up to Death. Throughout the entire length of the poem, the speaker never once drops his guard. In fact, he grows more confident in the second half. But, is it courage or delusion? Maybe real courage is to accept that death is the end of life as we know it, and anything that comes after that is a mystery.
The poem gives more evidence of bluster than of courage, as the speaker rapidly tries out a number of different arguments, none of which seem to work perfectly.