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The Naked and the Nude

The Naked and the Nude

by Robert Graves

Death Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Yet when they both together tread
The briary pastures of the dead, (19-20)

It's only at the very end of life that all people do the same thing: die. Funnily enough, it's only at the very end of the poem that this happens. It's almost as if art imitates life, eh? Notice how Graves stacks plural words "both together" right on top of each other. He's rubbing his point in.

Quote #2

The briary pastures of the dead, (20)

Pastures seem like pleasant places to be, right? But not when they're covered with briars, those sharp, prickly plants like, say, raspberry bushes. All of a sudden a pleasant place becomes a lot less pleasant. It's the total opposite of a pastoral landscape, where poets tend to place young lovers.

Quote #3

Gorgons with long whips pursued (23)

Wow. And we thought briars were bad. Notice how Graves inverts the syntax of this line to draw attention to the Gorgon. That means she must be super-scary—and, as it turns out, super-ugly. Medusa was a Gorgon—you know, the snake-haired woman that turns people to stone if you look at her too long? Bad times.

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