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Comparing and Contrasting War Poems

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Comparing and Contrasting War Poems In this essay, I have decided to analyse two poems by the war poet Wilfred Owen, taken from his writings on the First World War. Both of these poems ('Dulce et Decorum Est' and 'Exposure') portray Owen's bitter angst towards the war, but do so in very different ways and 'Vitai Lampada' by Henry Newbolt and comparing it to 'A Soldier' by Rupert Brook. First of all I will be comparing the 2 war poems by Owen. His most famous poem, 'Dulce et Decorum Est', is a fine example of his narrative, first-person poems, written through his own eyes and based on his own experiences and views of the war. Using four clear stanzas, the poem uses standard, alternate rhyming lines. A slow, painstaking rhythm is established at the beginning of the poem through Owen's use of heavy, long words and end-stop lines, in order to illustrate just how slow and painful the war was: "Bent double like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through the sludge," The way Owen captures the appearance of the soldiers as cripples, hags or tramps because the soldiers are so tired, agonised and annoyed. They are compared to this because they have been dragged down to that level. ...read more.


"Slowly our ghosts drag home; glimpsing the sunk fires, glozed" This poem repeats different lines at the end of each stanza, to make the reader reflect of what it is really like. Owen puts the point over that nothing happens in the war, and that war is useless and doesn't solve anything, also he talks about the men are already dead before they go over the top to fight the Boche! In every other stanza it repeats: "... But nothing happens" And another "... What are we doing here?" As you can see in these 2 poems Wilfred Owen writes in 2 different sorts of language, In 'Exposure' he uses older language for example words such as snow-dazed, dowse, sun-dozed, littered, loath, brambles etc. In 'Dulce et Decorum Est' he uses more fluent language, more today language, such words like hags, beggars, fatigue, drowning, guttering, choking, bitter etc. Owen uses more bitter language while in 'exposure' he doesn't use today language, but 'posh' language, not so harsh words (example: choking, drowning, blood-shod etc.) In conclusion, these two poems of Wilfred Owen are not completely contrasting, but are very different in many ways, and even if those differences are extremely subtle, without them the poems would never be able to fulfil their purpose. ...read more.


But they can still hear the colonel's voice saying 'Play up! Play up! And play the game!" so they are not loss with hope, so they struggle on through the pain and anguish through the war for their colonel. In the last stanza shows us that all the men who died in the war, tried their best and kept on going for their colonel to make him proud of the regiment. Went through pain, anger and mostly tiredness for the colonel, not for reward, not being selfish but to never give up trying to help your country and your captain. "...Beat through life like a torch in flame And falling, fling to the host behind - 'Play up! Play up! And play the game!" In conclusion to these two poems 'A Soldier' and 'Vitai Lampada' they are the same but in different ways. The language is not the same between these 2 poems. In 'The soldier' the language is very patriotic and old, not today language. But in 'Vitai Lampada' the language is more 'today language' and is not so patriotic. 'Vitai Lampada' is quite a difficult poem to grasp at first, but when you read it a couple of times, you know what he is talking about. That is the same as 'The Soldier'. ?? ?? ?? ?? 6 1 Luke Danton ~ 10 Manns ~ 17/12/01 Eng. ...read more.

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