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Posted by Bob on January 23, 2001

In Reply to: Cowards posted by ESC on January 22, 2001

: : : : A Coward Dies A Thousand Deaths, But A Brave Man Dies Only One.....

: : : : This phrase has been used many times by my boss. I am curious if anyone else had heard of it or its origin?

: : : : i've heard this phrase in another, somewhat different reincarnation: "As Howard cries a thousand tears, all but a brave man cries only one."

: : Cowards die many times before their deaths;
: : The valiant never taste of death but once.
: : Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
: : It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
: : Seeing that death, a necessary end,
: : Will come when it will come.

: : Julius Caesar II, Shakespeare

: : Nothing like starting the day with a little death poetry.

: The proverb has been traced back to Mortimeriados . Shakespeare used it in his tragedy "Julius Caesar" . From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). Mr. Titelman interprets the saying as meaning, "A person who lacks courage is disgraced each time he faces adversity." I believe the phrase has more to do with the crippling effect fear has on a person's life. What do you think?

I'm with you on this one. Caesar, commenting on the "Roman virtue" of bravery, seems more concerned with the internal (sniveling paralysis) than with the external (social disgrace.)