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Compare and Contrast 'Dulce et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen and 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke

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Introduction

Compare and Contrast 'Dulce et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen and 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke The Great War began in 1914 and ended in 1981. During the four years the war lasted, many young men lost their lives after volunteering to fight for their country. Many powerful poems were written during World War 1. The first poem of two I will be analysing is 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'. The title is taken from a well-known Latin saying 'Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori' meaning: 'It is sweet and noble to die for ones country'. A realistic war poem written by Wilfred Owen during the war. And the second is 'The Soldier' a patriotic poem written by Rupert Brooke. Wilfred Edward Salter Owen (1893-1981) was born on March 18, 1893, he teached on the continent until September of 1915 when he returned to England to enlist. Owen saw the bloody side of war and fought on the front line until November 4, seven days before the Armistice, he died in a German machine gun attack. The first stanza of the poem is describing the soldiers, the way they are tired, worn out and badly affected by war. They are retreating from the front line. Owen is giving the debilitating effects of war, using dramatic and oppressive language. In the second stanza Owen describes the soldiers being gassed and the sequence of their death. ...read more.

Middle

Also, to emphasise the pain of dying due to gas Owen uses the rule of three; 'Guttering, choking, drowning' Owen effectively uses the rule of three as it successfully describes the stages of dying. But the most important and meaningful section of the poem are the last four lines. Wilfred Owen talks to 'my friend'. This is a specific reference to Jessie Pope, a World War 1 poet who wrote jingoistic poems. He says: 'The old Lie. Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori' Meaning 'It is sweet and noble to die for one's country' in Latin. He is letting the people at home know that that is an idea that is no longer true, an old fashioned view on the war. He is giving a more realistic view of war, which authors such as Jessie Pope and Rupert Brooke fail to do. In 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' the rhyme scheme is quite regular throughout. This represents the beat of the soldiers marching. This fits the mood of the poem, because although Wilfred Owen is angry, he is still in the war, still marching, still fighting. The poem is split into four main verses, the first is eight lines long, the second 6, the third two and the fourth twelve lines long. These represent the chaotic war life the soldiers live in. It is irregular throughout and slightly disjointed, representing the randomness of the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

one verb in his poem; 'Breathing English air' Brooke uses this verb to personify England, portraying a much different effect to the reader. Both authors use many different language techniques to portray their feelings. However, the two poems 'The Soldier' and 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' also have a lot in common. Both Brooke and Owen use alliteration to emphasise their feelings, but Brooke uses softer sounding alliteration where as Owen uses harder, angrier alliteration. The same techniques are used by both authors, but with a different effect given to the reader. They also both use repetition, although in very different ways. Where Brooke is repeating 'England' giving a jingoistic view towards war, typical of the time, Owen was repeating 'Gas' giving a realistic view. Personally I preferred 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' because it was a much more effective and hard-hitting poem than 'The Soldier'. I preferred the war Owen told the truth about war, and I disliked Brooke's optimistic view, as he did not actually experience war first hand. The two poems 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'The Soldier' have broadened my opinion towards World War 1. They told me the different points of view people had. Everyone in Britain was told how great war was, and how noble it was to die for your country, but really, as Owen explained, it was a horrific time. Many people died and they lived in terrible conditions. The two poems 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'The Soldier' have shown me this. Stephanie Kenifick 11y1 English ...read more.

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