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    #1

    mere mortality

    Hi. Can anybody interpret the last phrase of this sentence?
    "To be buried while alive is, beyond question, the most terrific of these extremes which has ever fallen to the lot of mere mortality." (http://poestories.com/read/premature)
    Does it mean something like "all mortal people"?
    Last edited by Mher; 26-Nov-2014 at 13:17.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: mere mortality

    By "mere mortality" Poe meant ordinary people, the likes of you and me. This usage is antiquated.

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    #3

    Re: mere mortality

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    By "mere mortality" Poe meant ordinary people, the likes of you and me. This usage is antiquated.
    I do not mind, but I think that ordinary people were not the only ones who could have been buried alive. I guess here Poe means all people who are mortal (Sorry for my persistence).

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    #4

    Re: mere mortality

    Could it be simply high-sounding language to add weight to his theme? Ending the sentence with a word like people would be a weak ending, while mere mortality gives the idea of the fragility and smallness of our lives and sounds better.

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    #5

    Re: mere mortality

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Could it be simply high-sounding language to add weight to his theme? Ending the sentence with a word like people would be a weak ending, while mere mortality gives the idea of the fragility and smallness of our lives and sounds better.
    I have nothing against that particular word. My point is that when talking about the phenomenon of premature burial, there is no need to differentiate between ordinary or "unordinary" people. In both cases, being caught by terror is inevitable.

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    #6

    Re: mere mortality

    I am not sure that it does distinguish. I think it lumps us all together, but dresses us up is posh words.


    It could possibly distinguish us from is something not of this world- maybe demons tormented in hell.

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