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'In Memoriam' by F. A. Mackintosh, 'Death Bed' by Siegfried Sassoon and 'Dulce et Decorum est'by Wilfred Owen.

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First World War Poem Essay In this essay I am comparing and discussing three poems from the Great War, each by a different author. These poems are 'In Memoriam' by F. A. Mackintosh, 'Death Bed' by Siegfried Sassoon and 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen. First I shall discuss 'In Memoriam' by F. A. Mackintosh. The title starts by telling you that the memory of someone who has died is probably involved as the word memoriam is usually used in epitaphs. This can be linked to a memorial which is a monument in memoriam of a lot of people which shows that this not about one person. The first stanza starts by saying 'So you were David's father,', and from this you know this is someone who is talking to the father of someone he knew. Also the use of the word 'were' in the past tense means that David is no longer his son and, at a guess, I'd say David was dead. The next line says 'And he was your only son,' notice the use of the past tense again in the form of the word of, as this says that he no longer has a son. Also it says his 'only son', which implies a tighter bond between the father and son than there would be in a family with two or sons in it and/or daughters, which means that the grief may be amplified. ...read more.


In this last stanza he is again referring to the fact that is men's fathers only see their sons in their prime and that he, their officer, saw them and held them in their last weak moments. He also no longer compares himself to their fathers but says 'For they were only you fathers, But I was you officer', therefore he implies it takes more to be their officer than to be their father. Now I shall discuss 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen. The title is the beginning of a Latin phrase which is 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori' which means 'It is a sweet and fitting thing to die for ones country'. This is sort of misleading as this gives the feeling, provided one knows what the complete phrase is and means, of someone who thought that the war was a glorious one. This is not actually so as he turns that phrase around by saying it is a lie and says: 'My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie : Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.' The first stanza describes the soldiers' actions and their condition. To do this he uses similes and metaphors. For example, 'Drunk with fatigue' and 'Bent double, like beggars under sacks'. The first is a metaphor and the second is a slimily. The stanza is basically a description and when the stanza is read it goes along in a slow steady rhythm so that ...read more.


Mackintosh uses the thoughts of a man for his soldiers. One difference between all the three poems is the prominent emotion in each. Owen's is full of hate for the war, F. A. Mackintosh's is full of grief for the loss of his men and in Sassoon's there is no way I can really pin a main feeling on it except the feeling of waste that the war produced which is apparent in each. Although I say this about Sassoon's poem the feeling of hate is made available for seeing in the lines 'He's young; he hated War; how should he die when cruel old campaigners win safe through? ', and in this you also see the grief and loss for this man as he was young. They also all have main themes. In Owen's there is the theme of death and pain as there is in Sassoon's although both are different in that Owens is more graphic in this respect. As for F. A. Mackintosh the theme is one of comparison between the officer and the fathers of his men, so much so in fact that the poem is almost a simile in itself. In conclusion I would say that each of the poems contains the feeling of terrible loss of life in the war and that fundamental feeling links all of the three poems. This means that for all the differences in style all the writers are trying to get the same message across. All three poets I would say were anti-war, although in F. A. Mackintosh's poem he does not directly show as the other two authors do. Ben Phoenix Page 4 of 4 ...read more.

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3 star(s)

*** 3 STARS

Essay shows knowledge and understanding of all three poems. Some accurate use of terminology and statements are well supported by quotes throughout. In places closer analysis of language ( such as rhyme and repetition) is needed and at times analysis of poems lacks depth.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 24/09/2013

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