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Critical assesement of Oberfeldwebel Beckstadt by Craig Raine

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Critical Essay- Poems Oberfeldwebel Beckstadt by Craig Raine Set in the 1940's after the war 'Oberfeldwebel Beckstadt' is a poem about a Soldier returning home as the war has ended. I know this as Craig Raine states 'It is the end of the war' He reflects on the appearance of the war scene and the horrible events he has taken part in. Craig Raine has used a third person view to narrate the scenes which is an advantage as all events around him are identified and clearly described . This poem explores aspects of war . The poem reflects the negative issues throughout the poem. Craig Raine uses various techniques to express different ideas. ...read more.


'camp is a crown of thorns' gives an image of the camp surrounded by barb wire. This is where victims have suffered. This is a good comparison made by Craig Raine as the 'crown of thorns' can refer to the one Jesus wore when being crucified which also refers to suffering. The weapons used for the killings are disarmed as they are not needed anymore, 'Oberfeldwebel Beckstadt unscrews his silencer'. The awful events of suffering are deliberately forgot about as the try to discard any evidence, ' slop petrol from two jerry cans over the bodies'. As they discard the evidence it reflects that they are guilty of what has happened and know one can discover the truth. ...read more.


The word choice of pith expresses that they feel unprotected as it refers to their hair but is also the white skin of the orange which protects the orange. At the Camp the Jews are regaining thier freedom ' Four Jews are playing bowls'. In the last paragraphs Craig Raine conveys the step back to normal life and again mentions that ' It is the end of War'. But for Oberfeldwebel Beckstadt it is still not over, 'like a barrister who will ask him questions'. He will have to answer to questions regarding to things he has tried to cover up. He will suffer ' call him Otto and make him cry' which again reflects his guilt and attitude to what he has done. ...read more.

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