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Compare and contrast the portrayal of war within 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'The Soldier'

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the portrayal of war within 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'The Soldier' I'm writing to compare the two war poems 'Dulce et decorum est.' and 'The Soldier' written by poets considered the two most greatest war-poets of their times (before and during the first world war), Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke. Both these poems portray war in very different ways. The First World War began in 1914 and took place mainly in Luxembourg and Belgium which was invaded by the Germans and named the 'western front'. Both sides built trenches and fortifications running from the North Sea to the borders of Switzerland. Between this was 'no man's land' the reason this was, is in the name. No man who went there came back alive, they would have been killed. The main countries fighting were England and Germany. What made this war so different was the fact that when it broke out, the countries didn't have enough time to employ qualified soldiers, they trained in the little amount of time they had and all class-groups were expected to fight. ...read more.

Middle

He was taken to France in 1917, what he described as 'the worst war winter'. On this is based all his war poetry. He became a tutor and an officer in order to help and guide the young soldiers in training and on the field. November 4, just seven days before the war ended, he was caught in a German machine-gun attack and killed. Both poets were well educated and very well traveled. They both came from, somewhat, strict backgrounds and their influences and experiences in life is visible in their work. Within 'Dulce et decorum est.' Wilfred basically talks about what he saw and witnessed whiles in the winter war in France. This is where he based most of his poems. Personally, I like this poem simply because it's realistic and most likely true. In the poem, the author portrays war in a negative way. He believes war is unnecessary and a terrible thing to go through. Words that create a feeling of negativity are: "devil", "cancer", "blood", "guttering", "choking", etc. The poem talks about the experiences of the soldiers. ...read more.

Conclusion

He writes 'Songs of innocence' whiles Owen writes 'Songs of Experience'. In other words, because Rupert never lived through most of the war, he never knew all the terrible things that happened during the war and so did not write about them. Owen, however, lived throughout most of the war and witnessed the things that did happen and so wrote poems from his experience and what he'd witnessed. 'The Soldier', a poem written to inspire patriotism when the war begun, uses positive words and imagery. It talks about nature, "flowers to love", "washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home", "rich earth" ; It talks peaceful visions, "all evil shed away", "dreams happy as her day", "laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness", "hearts at peace", "An English heaven." A naive poem which would probably encourage the soldiers that went to war. 'Dulce et decorum est.', a poem written to allow readers to see through the poets eyes and what he witnessed, is the poem I prefer because it's much more realistic and reliable if used as information and also for the fact that the poem who wrote this witnessed the war himself. ...read more.

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