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"It has been said that all war poetry is violent and depressing. By looking at poems before and after 1900 see if you agree or disagree with this view." Use at least 2 poems by the same author

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"It has been said that all war poetry is violent and depressing. By looking at poems before and after 1900 see if you agree or disagree with this view." Use at least 2 poems by the same author In this essay I will be analyzing the title question and find out what my view is on the opinion that all war poetry is violent and depressing. I will be studying two poems by William Shakespeare and two poems by Wilfred Owen; this will incorporate pre-1900 poetry and post-1900 poetry in my essay by using these two poets. I will also add in any quotes from other war poetry, which I feel is relevant to this essay. Firstly, I will analyze the two poems by Shakespeare, which I have chosen, Henry V at the siege of Harfleur and Before Agincourt. The first Shakespeare poem I will be studying is Henry V at the siege of Harfleur. This poem is a speech made by Henry V during the battle of Harfleur. It is a speech, which is meant to spur the troops to victory, and also it is a very patriotic poem. The poem is all about making England and fathers proud so the king is trying to convince the army not to be scared; what do the soldiers have to be scared about? ...read more.


and good it is to die for your country, with the only violent line being, 'Close up the wall with our English dead'. This example of pre-20th century poetry shows me that possibly war was seen not as a scary thing but it was a noble thing to die for your country in Shakespeare's time. The second Shakespeare poem I will be studying is, Before Agincourt. The poem is a conversation between the king, Henry and his cousin, Westmoreland. This poem is different to the first one because it isn't frantic and spontaneous. It is calmer and more in the form of a conversation than a last ditch attempt to rally an army. Also, it was 'performed' or written before the battle took place. This quote, in my opinion best sums up the patriotic mood that the poem gives, 'He that shall live this day, and see old age, will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, and say, 'Tomorrow is Saint Crispian.' Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, and say, 'These wounds I had on Crispins's day'. The king is trying to make war sound good and that if you do not take part in it then you miss out on glory. The king says that the soldier who fights in this battle will be proud of his memories and that people will remember the names of the soldiers. ...read more.


It is a disturbing poem. The final poem I will be analyzing will be 'Futility' by Wilfred Owen. The poem is another depressing poem. It is not so violent this time though. It tells of how a man had died from the cold. This poem shows that Owen was bitter and disillusioned by the war at this stage. He is disturbed by this mans death. This poem again has no non-depressing parts to it and shows the title quote to be correct in this case. The two post-1900 poems have shown me that war poetry can be depressing and violent but the pre-1900 poetry shows war to be noble and patriotic to take part in. Also, I think that those who have experienced it can only describe war. Finally, war has changed since the 19th century so it has got more violent and depressing since then and the death has multiplied. Overall, I think that all the modern war poetry is violent and depressing whereas pre-1900 poetry shows war to be a noble and patriotic thing to take part in. So, in analyzing the above poems I have found the title quote to be incorrect as not all war poetry is violent and depressing. Although in my opinion I think that all war is depressing and violent, the poetry does not have to be as shown by Shakespeare. He shows that it can be portrayed as noble and a patriotic thing. Rori Donaghy 11E War Poetry Essay 5/1/2007 1 ...read more.

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