[deserve/be not worthy of/merit] the same death

Dear friends!!!

One of the masterpieces of the Hermitage collection is "Martyrdom of St.Peter" by Leonello Spada http://www.terminartors.com/artworkprofile/Spada_Lionello-Martyrdom_of_St_Peter. St.Peter was one of Christ's disciples (apostles) who was crucified like his teacher but asked to do it upside down because he thought he could not be executed the same way as his teacher. Can I say as follows:

St.Peter thought he was not worthy of the same death as his teacher
St.Peter thought he did not deserve the same death as his teacher
St.Peter thought he did not merit the same death as his teacher

Thanks!!!
 
  • You can use all three. I like the first two versions better than the last one.

    Thanks!!!

    My main doubt was whether we can use "deserve" to speak about "death". We can use this word in Russian :), but I wanted to make sure we can do the same in English, because as a rule we say that someone deserves something good like an award, a prize, etc. How about "merit"? If I used "merit" would the phrase sound OK as if said by a fluent native speaker?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You can use "deserve" along with "death" in English. Many speakers have used these two words together: "No matter how bad her crime, she never deserved a death like that."
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    St.Peter thought he was not worthy of the same death as his teacher
    St.Peter thought he did not deserve the same death as his teacher
    St.Peter thought he did not merit the same death as his teacher

    The first and the third are equivalent, in my mind. Both carry a sense that this death is laudable, that St Peter thought he was not good enough for this particular death.

    The second is different. It could mean that St Peter thought he had not been bad enough to be treated as badly as his teacher.
     
    St.Peter thought he was not worthy of the same death as his teacher
    St.Peter thought he did not deserve the same death as his teacher
    St.Peter thought he did not merit the same death as his teacher

    The first and the third are equivalent, in my mind. Both carry a sense that this death is laudable, that St Peter thought he was not good enough for this particular death.

    The second is different. It could mean that St Peter thought he had not been bad enough to be treated as badly as his teacher.

    Panjandrum, great again!!! :):):) You managed to come to the point!!! Now I am sure #1 and #3 are closest to what I am looking for. #2 could mean both - St.Peter decided to be tortured more than his teacher or, on the contrary, he wanted to die easier and without as many tortured as his teacher was subjected to. In order to avoid confusion it is better to avoid option #2.

    Thanks!!!
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The difference is subtle.
    All three could be used in the sense of "not good enough".
    Only "deserve" could be used in the sense of "not bad enough". The words "worthy" and "merit" are inherently positive.
     
    Hello!

    Can I also say

    St.Peter thought he was unworthy to die the same death as his teacher
    St.Peter thought he was unworthy of dying the same way as his teacher
    St.Peter thought he was unworthy of the same death as his teacher
    St.Peter thought he did not merit to die the same death as his teacher?

    Thanks!
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The first three look good to me.
    St.Peter thought he did not merit to diethe same death as his teacher?
    I prefer the fourth without "to die".

    On reflection, I don't really like the first two.
     
    The first three look good to me.
    St.Peter thought he did not merit to diethe same death as his teacher?
    I prefer the fourth without "to die".

    Thanks! You dislike "to die" because it is grammatically wrong ("merit" cannot be followed by an Infinitive) or "to die" is just unnecessary here and does not add anything new to the sentence?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Thanks! You dislike "to die" because it is grammatically wrong ("merit" cannot be followed by an Infinitive) or "to die" is just unnecessary here and does not add anything new to the sentence?
    I don't know if it is ungrammatical.
    My response could simply be personal, or could be based on what is normal usage - rather than grammatical or not.
    I do not deserve to die the same death as...
    I do not merit the same death as...
    I am unworthy of the same death as...


    I suspect it is personal.
     
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