• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

First World War Poetry - Owen's 'work embodies.... the changing values of the time': how?

Extracts from this document...


First World War Poetry Owen's 'work embodies....the changing values of the time': how? In the early 20th Century social change was occurring, Queen Victoria had just died, philosophers and scientists such as Nietzsche and Darwin had just published books with secular and anti-establishment ideas causing a massive ripple affect amongst society comparable with that of the renaissance. For many, war was a welcome inspiration. England had become confused, complacent and static, war brought unity, patriotism and heroes. Rupert Brooke wrote in the poem 'Peace' that the war 'wakened ...(them)... from sleeping'. However, it eventually became clear that the war, despite its benefits, was futile and the lives of millions of men were sacrificed because the government were frightened of the shifts in power occurring in Europe. Public opinion changed from believing that there was glory and bravery in war to there was nothing but waste and pity in war. Owen's poetry summarises this change in attitude because he is trying to explain to those who do not yet understand, the pointlessness of war. 'Dulce et Decorum Est', is the title to a double sonnet written by Wilfred Owen, and is the beginning of the phrase 'Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori', meaning 'it is sweet and proper to die for your country'. ...read more.


Owen addresses the reader as 'my friend' again in irony, because he is really addressing the politicians, the women handing out white feathers and the parents who felt shame would be upon them if you did not fight. Owen is addressing those people because he wants them in particular to know how dreadful and horrific the life of a soldier was and that if they did understand they would never imagine to try and romanticise war or encourage signing up; That they would never dream of telling their children the old lie: 'That it is sweet and proper to die for your country.' Owen's greatest frustration over the war appears to be with the na�ve at home who still imagine the war as a place of glory and brave men, he is determined through his poetry to shatter these illusions. In a letter to his mother, Owen wrote 'My subject is War and the pity of War', this statement as does 'Dulce et Decorum Est' epitomises the changing opinions and values during the First World War. He also wrote 'All a poet can do is warn. That is why poets must be truthful.'. 'Anthem For Doomed Youth' is another example of Owen's anarchic Poetry. ...read more.


Brooke's audience are the families of the deceased, he is writing for those who do not wish to believe their son or husband or nephew's death was futile. Brooke did not survive long enough to fight in the war himself and although many soldiers identify with his poetry as much as others do with Owen's, because they genuinely enjoyed the war and would have gladly died for their country, Owen was writing later, when people did not accept totally that the war was worthy and necessary. Owen's work epitomises what views people came to posses but Brooke's and Freemen's and Hodgson's and indeed many others poets' are pre war opinions, Brooke's poetry is unaffected by any experience of war because he never made it there, Owen speaks from experience which is why he is respected. Owen wrote the truth, as we realise it was in hindsight and people were beginning to realise towards this end of the war, which is why his 'work embodies....the changing values of the time.' Because he is unaffected by any sense of patriotism he feels he can write critically of the war, people of the era were realising that although they believe their country is worth fighting for, this war was not. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. Did women's contributions to the First World War significantly affect constructions of gender at ...

    This necessity for women to occupy the roles of men who had been called up for service was outside the typical gender expectation of the time, which saw women to be fragile. Yet this process of Dilution; having women employed in the male sphere was strongly contested and it was

  2. How does the poetry of the First World War reflectThe changing mood as the ...

    It was a poem written for a national newspaper to encourage young men to join the war effort and uses an ABAB rhyming scheme. The government's propaganda in this poem is easy to spot and this is just one of the prime examples.

  1. The Changing Role of Poetry in the First World War

    Instead the fun died down and the pressure of the end and survival grew upon them. Famous poets, and in fact ordinary privates, started to write the second period of war poems: experience. One renowned poet was Wilfred Owen. Dulce Et Decorum Est, one of his most famous poems, describes

  2. Comparison of "Dulce et decorum est" by Wilfred Owen and "The Soldier" by Rupert ...

    The way in which Owen moved the images from a general concept to personal illustration by addressing the reader directly, "If you could hear'" indicated that I must place myself in this situation, and evoke the setting and all the associated emotions in my mind as I were in fact witnessing this event first hand.

  1. Comparing Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen with The Soldier by Rupert Brooke.

    all go towards making a feeling of a chaotic rush. It seems as if time is one of the men; sullen and weary, then suddenly activated and alert. Then, in the same stanza, the rhythm is slowed by the ellipse at the end of the twelfth line which trails off, producing an eerie sense of realisation.

  2. Compare and contrast the work of Owen and Heller in their treatment of war.

    In one way, nationalistic romanticism acts like a springboard for the pro-war beliefs, for as long as it is possible to rebound off attitudes alluded to Dulce Et Decorum Est, which claims it is sweet and noble to die for ones country, the false reassurance will always be embedded in the purpose of war.

  1. War Poetry - 'Dulce et Decorum est' and 'Anthem forDoomed Youth'

    Additionally it suggests that the men are struggling with the extreme weight of their bags. It highlights the point that they are very hunched over as they are so physically fatigued. 'Like beggars under sacks' is a simile that illustrates that the men have no dignity left.

  2. Does the Poetry of the First World War reflect the changing attitudes to War?

    Begbie is saying that you will miss the respect from friends. "Your head shamed and bent? Or say - I was not the first to go. But I went, thank God, I went" Begbie is saying this to make people who have not gone to war yet feel that it

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work