• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A comparison of the ways in which World War One is presented by Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon in their poetry with close reference to “Dulce et Decorum est” and “Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Owen and “The General” and &#1

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

WAR POETRY A comparison of the ways in which World War One is presented by Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon in their poetry with close reference to "Dulce et Decorum est" and "Anthem for Doomed Youth" by Owen and "The General" and "Base Details" by Sassoon. * * * The First World War marked a significant turning point in poetic tradition and history by the revolutionary styles and ideas expressed by the poets. Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon are probably two of the most well known war poets and their poetry was instrumental in this change. Prior to 1914, much poetry was written about wars such as the Crimean War in 1854-56 (The Charge of The Light Brigade by Tennyson who says, "Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred.) but the great majority of the poets had not experienced war first-hand. Thus, they reinforced the poetic tradition of glorifying war and death. Both Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, who both fought through most of the First World War, use their poetry in the hope that they can give a more realistic impression of war than the pre-twentieth century poetry. Both Owen and Sassoon present World War One as unheroic, in direct contrast to pre-twentieth war poetry such as The Destruction of Sennacherib by Byron. At the very beginning of Dulce et Decorum est Owen describes the soldiers as 'Bent double, like old beggars under sacks'. ...read more.

Middle

The very last line of the poems refers to Harry and Jack who are named in the poem. This makes the general's attitude and incompetence more poignant and personal to the reader. "But he did for them both by his plan of attack." This short last line is to the point and cuts right to the quick. Sassoon does not play with words like Owen but presents World War One is his poetry in the most succinct way. The majority of his poems are no longer than three short stanzas whereas Owen's can be eight verses long. However, Sassoon's message is just as worthy as Owen's is. Base Details is probably Sassoon's best poem for attacking the generals as using harsh humour it describes them sitting in luxury hotels while men are starving on the front-line with rationed food. He presents the generals of the First World War as 'scarlet' and fat. Although the poem is short, he describes the generals so effectively that we have an image of the generals in our head which does not conform to what we might expect, or certainly not what was generally thought of generals before the war. The title of the poem can be read on different levels - the first being the simple meaning of the word as in headquarters, or on another level, the meanings of 'in short' or 'unworthy'. ...read more.

Conclusion

He generally uses alternate rhyme, except the last lines where he uses a rhyming couplet such as in Base Details 'dead' and 'bed'. In The General the last three lines have the same rhyme - 'Jack', 'pack' and 'attack'. The rhyming couplet gives emphasis to the end of the poem. Sassoon's poetry is short, pithy and succinct, conveying one or several points in maybe two or three short stanzas such as The General, which is only seven lines long compared to Owen's poetry which is usually longer. The style of Sassoon is more colloquial, using soldiers' slang such as 'He's a cheery old card,' grunted Harry to Jack.' and tends to be more vitriolic such as 'And speed glum heroes up the line to death.' Conversely, Owen uses descriptive and elaborate words that convey the atmosphere and images that the poems evoke, such as his unforgettable and shocking description of the dead man in the third stanza of Dulce et Decorum est. Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon present different aspects of World War One - Owen, the conditions and horrific deaths of the ordinary soldiers in contrast to Sassoon's pointed and bitter attack against the majors. They do this in very different ways and despite Sassoon's influence on Owen, their styles are extremely contrasting but no less effective. Their poetry helped mark a radical change in the way war poetry was written and it is their presentation of their themes that effected this shift. 03/03/02 Jessica Mead 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Choose 3 poems by Wilfred Owen that look at different aspects of war. Compare ...

    4 star(s)

    over a dead mans body as opposed to being a symbol of peace. The word "spray" also relates to the foam from a gassed mans mouth in battle. Next he writes, "As men's are, dead." This introduces the element of death for the first time and Owen has intentionally put

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Explore how the theme of love is presented in Birdsong and a selection of ...

    4 star(s)

    Owen uses lists to emphasise the busy and hectic scene: "but I forgot him there In posting next for duty, and sending a scout To beg a stretcher somewhere, and flound'ring about To other posts under the shrieking air", and this makes the personalisation on the blinded soldier so much more intimate and private.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    A Comparison of "Who's for the Game" and "Dulce et Decorum est".

    3 star(s)

    He was "innocent" and did not deserve to die in this war. "My friend you would not tell with such high zest to children ardent for some desperate glory" I believe that in this phrase Owen is addressing other poets such Jessie Pope.

  2. A comparison of 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'Exposure' by Wilfred Owen, showing ...

    As the war was developing the pressure to take part in conflict grew increasingly. After training , Owen was labeled a second lieutenant. All his romantic notions was destroyed by the reality of war, water-logged trenches, barbed wire, bombardments and machine guns.

  1. Compare "The Soldier" and "Anthem for Doomed Youth" under the criteria of purpose, ideas, ...

    Brooke uses repetition by saying 'England' several times as he is desperate to convince the reader not to lose morale. Owen, alternatively, throughout his poem makes uses of metaphors and counterparts. His imageries, compared with Brooke's are varied and more meaningful.

  2. What attitudes to World War One does Siegfried Sassoon display in his poetry?

    He despised the war! He concentrates his poetry on four main areas: considering life in the trenches; the horrors of the war; attitudes to and of the superior officers; and citizens at home. He is critical of all of these things and shows vividly the horrors of war, especially for those who have never experienced such a war.

  1. In the wars, Robert Rose is a very significant character.

    One person is almost trampled from the uproar. HORSES page sixty-seven The boat arrives in Europe and describes the work the horses need to do to make it to shore. HORSES page sixty-eight The horses were a rare sight at this time in Europe. People came out of their homes to see the animals.

  2. The theme of war and destruction is presented through the poems Anthem for Doomed ...

    This use of rhetorical question offers the readers an opportunity to impersonate a soldier in this situation and to come to the realisation of the stupidity of the war. The next stanza also begins with another rhetorical question. ?What candles may be held to speed them all?? Owen deliberately does

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work