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Quotes

Quote #1

Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned, (4)

A groaning sleep isn't exactly a selling point for mattresses. Why? Because it's a sign you're totally tortured and getting the worst sleep ever. These guys are clearly suffering (and it's not from a lumpy mattress).

Quote #2

With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands as if to bless. (7-8)

This guy is suffering so badly that it's clearly visible to our speaker just upon first glance. He's got to be feeling bad to be spotted so easily. This is where Owen sneaks in the ole suffering of Christ image that we talked about in our "Symbols, Imagery, and Wordplay" section. Even though he's clearly pained, he's raising his hands in blessing and managing to find compassion for another sucker in a bad situation (speaker number one).

Quote #3

And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell. (9-10)

This soldier is not getting an endorsement deal from Crest anytime soon. When your smile is described as "dead" you know you're displaying your suffering pretty clearly.

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