Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 8 years ago

"I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."?

What kind of grammar is this?

Was it supposed to be, "I *have* become death, the destroyer of worlds?"

How about, "I am death, the desteroyer of worlds?"

Is it some sort of weird construction for a proper noun, e.g., Become Death?

6 Answers

  • Jesse
    Lv 4
    8 years ago
    Best Answer

    As I'm sure you're well aware, J. Robert Oppenheimer quoted it from the Bhagavad Gita.

    Read the first paragraph as well as Note 2:

    The link in Note 2:

  • 4 years ago

    I used that exact same quote earlier in the week when I said that any presidential candidate that was adamantly opposed to abortion on moral grounds should immediately disqualify themselves from looking for a job that gives them access to the type of power that Oppenheimer was alluding to From a strictly moral standpoint no true Christian should ever run for president

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Some suggest it's a misquote, which would explain the peculiar grammar; but "am become" is not an error but a (poetic) archaism, as in "I am become a name, for always roaming with a hungry heart" (Tennyson, Ulysses). Which in turn might be a trace of French; "Je suis devenu la mort".

  • "I have become death, the destroyer of worlds" was a quote from Dr. Oppenheimer, after stating his regret of creating the Atomic Bomb. He himself took the quote from an ancient text.

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  • David
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    i believe it,s a translation from an old hindu text. translations are often not fully doable from one language to another.

  • 8 years ago

    i was curious too so i looked it up. the general consensus is that it's not "incorrect" grammar, it's just archaic.

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