You're not hanging out in hell without a little (or a lot) of suffering. That's the sole purpose of hell: to make everyone who has been sent there miserable for a very long time. And you thought having History for last period on a Friday was suffering. The biggest bummer when it comes to the guys in "Strange Meeting" is that it seems like they'd already suffered a whole lot in their lifetime. They had to deal with all the hardships that come with war. But apparently, there's no rest for the weary. It's pretty harsh punishment, if you ask Shmoop.
Questions About Suffering
- Why do you think these guys have been "sentenced" to suffer in hell for eternity?
- Does their punishment seem fair? Why or why not?
- Owen spends more time in the poem discussing the suffering that went on when these soldiers were alive. Why do you think the suffering on earth got so much airtime in comparison to the suffering in hell?
- What about the strange meeting (the meeting of the two enemies) might contribute to their suffering?
Chew on This
The reason Owen gives so much detail about the suffering the soldiers did in war and not as much about what their suffering entails in hell is because there is no difference. The suffering in hell is just a continuation of the suffering they experienced in war.
These guys got a totally bum rap. They've suffered enough and should be able to rest in peace.