The Red Badge of Courage
How we cite our quotes:
He now thought that he wished he was dead. He believed he envied those men whose bodies lay strewn over the grass of the fields and on the fallen leaves of the forest (11.32).
This is perhaps the worse form of cowardice we see in Red Badge.
He now rejoiced in the possession of a small weapon with which he could prostrate his comrade at the first signs of a cross-examination. He was master. It would now be he who could laugh and shoot the shafts of derision. The friend had, in a weak hour, spoken with sobs of his own death. He had delivered a melancholy oration previous to his funeral, and had doubtless in the packet of letters, presented various keepsakes to relatives. But he had not died, and thus he had delivered himself into the hands of the youth (15.7-8).
Henry, like a true coward, does just what he had hoped no one would do to him. He inwardly rejoices that Wilson is more of a coward than he.
And, furthermore, how could they kill him who was the chosen of gods and doomed to greatness? (15.17)
Oh, what a great line – "doomed to greatness." Henry’s search for courage ("greatness") comes with the price tag of probably death ("doom")