In the book of Mark, chapters 14 and 15 of the Bible, Jesus becomes aware of his imminent death and is later crucified. Jesus’s execution is considered an act of martyrdom because he is persecuted and killed because of his religious beliefs. His action is particularly impactful because Jesus gives himself up willingly. In the above painting, Jesus’s death is depicted as followers pray below and angels hover overhead. Henry James’ novella Daisy Miller, Daisy is similarly portrays as a martyr. Daisy is believed to be a flirt by most of the people she meets in Europe. Contrarily, Daisy is actually choosing to make her own choices and ignore the social normals of her day. At the end of the story, Daisy dies from Roman Fever (malaria) after a date with Giovanelli at the Coliseum. Daisy’s final act of controversy is essentially a death sentence. Daisy is a martyr because she dies as a result of her beliefs, even though they are not religious. Henry James foreshadows Daisy’s martyrdom before she dies. When Winterbourne first sees people in the Coliseum, he knows it is Daisy and Giovanelli because he hears Daisy say, “”Well, he looks at us as one of the old lions or tigers may have looked at the Christian martyrs!”” (James). While it is unclear whom Daisy is speaking about, it may be Winterbourne himself. After Daisy has died, Winterbourne, who had been very critical of Daisy’s behavior at times, suddenly sees Daisy as innocent. As is typical of a martyr, Daisy is treated better in death than she was in her misunderstood life.
• Oedipus, Oedipus Rex by Socrates
• Edna, The Awakening by Kate Chopin
• The Crucible by Arthur Miller