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Compare the attitudes demonstrated between pre-war and at war with Brooke's poem "The Soldier" and Owen's poem "Dulce et Decorum est"

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Compare the attitudes demonstrated between pre-war and at war with Brooke's poem "The Soldier" and Owen's poem "Dulce et Decorum est" Dulce et Decorum Est was written at war in 1917 by an English poet and World War I soldier Wilfred Owen. Dulce et decorum est is written in a very bitter manner, by a man who had very strong anti-war sentiments. The 27-line poem, written loosely in iambic pentameter is told from the eyes of Wilfred Owen. The opening line of this poem contains two similes which compares the soldiers to beggars and hags 'bent double, like old beggars under sacks', 'coughing like hags.' This is not how we would portray young, fit, soldiers, but the fact of the matter is that they are no longer fit, they are no longer keen and they barely remain soldiers. War has aged and deteriorated them so much so that they are now compared to hags and beggars. Showing us that war is neither 'sweet' nor 'decorous' (Dulce et Decorum). Owen continues his description of the solders with the lines 'All went lame; all blind', 'Drunk with fatigue; deaf' further describing their disabilities and to the extent at which war has effected them. ...read more.


Firstly it describes the scene, the light, giving it an eerie and gloomy feel, one with little hope. Secondly, it describes the chances this soldier has, having shown us that war can be left up to chance, Owen is describing the chances this boy now has for survival. 'I saw him drowning', shows that Owen directly refers to himself. This is to personify the entire poem, to make it much more real to the reader. It is showing us that all the horrors Owen has described are all from his experience. In the final stanza, Owen writes that if readers could see the body, the "eyes writhing", the "face hanging", and the "vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues" they would cease to send young men to war while instilling visions of glory in their heads. No longer would they tell their children the "Old lie," "Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori," It is sweet and proper to die for one's country, in other words it is a wonderful and great honour to die for your country. ...read more.


Therefore "England's" strong young soldiers represent "dreams, laughter, gentleness, In hearts at peace under an English heaven." He is enthusiastic and sentimental about his homeland and all that the unnamed soldier is fighting to preserve The soldier in Brooke's poem wants the world to remember him as one who died in pursuit of an ideal: "think only this of me That there's some corner of a foreign field That is forever England." The manner of his death is never considered. Dulce et decorum est paints a dark picture of war, of bitterness at being betrayed by the 'old lie'. "Dulce et Decorum est". Owen's poem shows a soldier exactly how he's going to die, compared to Brooke's poem where death is seen as a gentle and quiet moment of peace. Brooke's poem is a pre-war poem, when people were filled with ideals about war. There is no mention about war, the imagery we see when we read Brooke's poem is of quiet calm. Owen on the other hand, paints a more immediate and real image of war, suffering, exhaustion and violent deaths. These two poets take the same subject, war and patriotism, but treats it in two completely different ways, maybe because Owen experienced the reality of war and Brooke didn't. ...read more.

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