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Discuss how the concepts of glory and death in conflict have been dealt with by the poets of the 19th and 20th centuries - How does the poet portray victims of conflict?

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Introduction

English Coursework- War Poetry Discuss how the concepts of glory and death in conflict have been dealt with by the poets of the 19th and 20th centuries. How does the poet portray victims of conflict? Your response must include consideration of two pre-1900 poems on the theme of war and three post-1900 poems. War is immoral and can only be justified in the most extreme circumstances. It involves death and destruction, bloodshed and loss. In my opinion there is no winner in a war- both sides are at a loss regardless of how big or small that loss may be. Other people see it as a duty in which they defend their country, family or their way of life. In the past, it was more common for people to die for cause and country and be considered a 'hero'. By studying five poems, two pre-1900 (Drummer Hodge- Thomas Hardy and The Charge Of the Light Brigade- Alfred Lord Tennyson) and three post-1900 poems (The Soldier- Rupert Brooke, The Irish in Gallipoli- Francis Ledwidge and The Civil Servant- Michael Longley), I have now got an informed opinion on how war poets portray the images of conflict. ...read more.

Middle

"Charging the army while all the world wondered." In this he speaks of the amazement due to their bravery and greatness while many others felt a sense of amazement due to their sheer madness. The Soldier has a similar feel to it. Brooke, the writer was infact involved in the war but died early on and was never aware of the true realities of war. This may be one of the reasons this poem focus less on the blood and gore of war and its main focal point is one of glory and heroism and in particular patriotism. He mentions the word England/English a total of 6 times alone. "In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;" in this he is saying that in the rich earth there will be a richer dust hidden, the dust of himself when he dies. "A dust of whom England bore, shaped, made aware," here he is calling himself a true Englishman and that he is proud to be there and to be prepared to die for his beloved England. The fact that this poem was used as a piece of propaganda proves that it is highly likely that this poem does not discuss war in a truthful way. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Drummer Hodge the language used is highly significant. The use of South African vocabulary reinforces the foreign-ness of the conflict and the distance from home for Hodge. Then imagery of stars is eloquent in showing that many of the people involved in the war did not know/understand why they were there. There is also an echo of a biblical or religious language, "yet portion of that unknown plain will Hodge for ever be"- shows solemnity and reverence, inspiring respect for Hodge. In The Charge of the Light Brigade, the rhythm of the poem is essential. The galloping horses is reflected in the repetition of the opening lines "half a league, half a league, half a league onwards" He uses many lingual techniques including the use of; metaphors, "the valley of Death", personification, "the jaws of Death" and onomatopoeia, "flashed all their sabres bare" and "shattered and sundered". The fact that Tennyson uses repeated phrases and refrain adds the 'galloping into battle' effect. The Irish in Gallipoli refers to a lot of myth and legend, "Troy's last shadow" and "the Last Mystery". He also adds a vast amount of religious reference, "for Christ Arisen", "a land is sanctified" and "Our cross with England's mingle" This brings into light his idealism and superficial attitude on war and the justification of war. ...read more.

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