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Dulce et Decorum Est", written by Wilfred Owen, the film All Quiet On The Western Front, and the television show 'Good byeee' (Blackadder) show the same negative view towards war.

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Introduction

In this essay, I will be trying to explain the diverse ways in which the poem, "Dulce et Decorum Est", written by Wilfred Owen, the film All Quiet On The Western Front, made from a book which became a world best seller by Erich Maria Remarque and the television show, "Good byeee" ( Blackadder) show the same, negative view towards war. I will demonstrate the different ways in which the 3 Medias attempt to reveal conditions in the trenches and the way the morale and attitudes of soldiers change while on the front line. I will then choose one of the 3 and explain why I thought was the most successful at showing a negative observation trench life and the war itself. CONTEXT: Blackadder Goes Forth, Episode 6 - "Goodbyeee" was written by Ben Elton and Richard Curtis in the 1980s. It was written mainly about just before the Somme offensive (Big push) in July 1916. This comedy which has a very cruel ending was written as a comedy, I think to differ to other war illustrations. It graphically shows the bad conditions in the trenches (such as low rations of food such as coffee) and the unfair treatment of soldiers. An example of this is when Captain Darling is ushered into fighting even thought he objects to it). The poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" was written by Wilfred Owen, a soldier of the British Army who fought on the Western Front which makes it an extremely reliable eye witness account of the terrible conditions suffered by every soldier. He wrote the poem while on convalescent leave in Edinburgh in a war hospital. I deem he wrote it to describe to people what conditions and life in the trenches was really like. He wanted to demonstrate to them that war wasn't as glorious and glamorous as most of the public believed. He uses the poem to criticise patriotic government propaganda, the "Old lie". ...read more.

Middle

Lieutenant George Colthurst: Lieutenant George is the 2nd highest ranking soldier out the 3 main characters after Captain Edmund. He is a rich, young man who joined the army on the day the war broke out, 4th of august 1914. He maintains a positive view on the war through most of the show apart from the end when he turns fearful at the end. George is probably the liveliest character in the episode. He is very enthusiastic about the war. He is very patriotic and is very eager to go into battle for his country. "Well, huzzah and hurrah! God save the King, Rule Britannia". He clearly sees the Germans as the main cause of the war and he believes that defeating the German's is a worthy cause "and boo sucks the Hairy Hun", "The war started because of the vile Hun and his villainous empire building." This shows that George doesn't really know why he's fighting for. He believes he is fighting for King and country but the truth is otherwise. This makes George seem innocent because he is not really fighting for what he believes in. Another thing which shows how innocent George is that he actually believes Captain Blackadder has lost his mind "I'm glad you're no barking anymore". George is a very cheerful man even in the bad conditions of the trenches. Nothing seems to put him down and at the start he is exceedingly eager to fight the Germans "I'm as bored as a pacifist pistol", "Well, hurrah with highly polished brass knobs on! About time!" This 2 quotes show how desperate he was to see battle because he wanted to teach the Germans a lesson. At the end of the play George becomes somewhat scared and fearful. He no longer is the lively, enthusiastic soldier at the beginning of the episode. He says that he isn't too keen on dying as his close friends did "I'm the last tiddlywinking leapfroggers from the Golden Summer of 1914. ...read more.

Conclusion

This makes it more reliable than the other 2 because they were produced to entertain. The poem was written while the writer was on convalescent leave in Edinburgh in a war hospital. I deem he wrote it to describe to people what conditions and life in the trenches was really like. He wanted to demonstrate to them that war wasn't as glorious and glamorous as most of the public believed. He uses the poem to criticise patriotic government propaganda, the "Old lie". He wrote it to make people think twice before joining the army for what he describes it, "desperate glory". He wanted to stop young men giving their lives for an unjust cause. The poem gives a clear picture to the reader of what life was really like in the trenches. Descriptions such as "the blood come gargling from the froth- corrupted lungs" and "He plunges at me, guttering choking drowning" are very shocking but paint a very true picture of war. I would put the film, All Quite on the Western Front as the 2nd most effective media because it clearly shows the patriotism felt by every young man at the start of the war. It shows how the pride and respect of their families depended on how well they did in the war. It also points out the harsh environment of trench life with very graphic images. Image is also used well to demonstrate the physiological pain men suffered. It is useful at pointing out the change of attitudes towards war in soldiers as the war went on. As it went on, they became more pessimistic and began to doubt if it had all been worth it. The comedy Blackadder Goes Forth comes last. It is also extremely good at graphically showing viewers the horrible conditions in the trenches. It is best at pointing out that class and ranks were of little importance to people (George, a rich man got on well with Baldrick, a low ranking soldier and citizen) because it was a war for the whole nation. 1 ...read more.

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