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

The two poems I have decided to contrast and compare are Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen; and Vultures by Chinua Achebe. Both these poems are about the horror of war and the effect it has on man.

Extracts from this document...


Poetry Assignment From the selected poems which you have studied on the theme of war, select at least two, one of which must be from a different culture, and/or tradition. Contrast how the poets portray the horror of war, making reference to how poets express their intentions through thoughts and feelings and their love of language. The two poems I have decided to contrast and compare are "Dulce Et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen; and "Vultures" by Chinua Achebe. Both these poems are about the horror of war and the effect it has on man. Dulce et Decorum Est (written in 1917 and published posthumously in 1921) is a poem written by the English poet and World War I soldier Wilfred Owen. The work's horrifying imagery has made it one of the most popular condemnations of war ever written. The 28-line poem, written loosely in iambic pentameter, is told from the first-person. ...read more.


The description is bringing the reader the wretched image of a final insult to the poor dead soldier. Achebe witnessed the horrors of war when he worked for the Biafran government in the late 1960s. Both men witnessed the real impact of war. While Owen tells the graphic images of actual human events Achebe uses Vultures to tell the same story in a more removed, detached way. Almost matter of fact. The vultures are a pair. He talks of them "perching high on broken bone of a dead tree". A metaphor of the broken body to come? They arrive upon their "corpse" together and after their initial gorging of the eyes and bowel, they keep their meal "in easy range of cold telescopic eyes". He descries the vulture's head as a "pebble on a stem rooted in a dump of gross feathers". Clearly showing us the ugliness of the bird adds to the portent of evil and in some way he challenges us when he describes the heads of the birds "inclined affectionately". ...read more.


I found both poems to be very gritty. Dolce... was literal and showed the horror of war and the effect on men. It highlights the numbing that the terror and fear causes to each man. They "trudge" back from the lines to their rest, undoubtedly after losing men and when the gas attack comes they deal with the body by flinging him onto an uncovered wagon, his "hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin". Achebe achieves the same effect by telling a story of a meal. The vultures just doing what comes naturally to them. They are not to be criticised for their actions, this is their world. This is how they live. Perhaps that is what links both poems for me. In Dolce... Owen describes how the men of the trenches had almost become immune as a result of being exposed to the harsh reality of war. In his writings he continues the theme of other "war poets" of his generation. Have the Generals become the Vultures in his war? ...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. How does Wilfred Owen present the horror of war in 'Dulce et Decorum est'. ...

    By telling us about the person that died from breathing in the gas, it shocks us that when we are breathing we may inhale something that may end up in killing us. He also alerts our senses by saying "As under a green sea I saw him drowning," this alerts our senses because we can imagine ourselves seeing someone drown.

  2. Compare and contrast how Wilfred Owen and Isobel Thrilling portray the horror, suffering and ...

    The second verse is a shift to the past. He talks about his life and when he went out dancing with women. This is a positive image shown. It's used to contrast with the reality of the present. "Now he will never feel how slim girls waists were." It emphasises that the women are heartless and don't except him now he is a victim of war.

  1. How does Wilfred Owen portray the horror of war in 'Dulce et Decorum est'?

    Nevertheless there is still the theme of duty, and/or a small light of hope amongst the disheartened men- 'Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots// But limped on, blood-shod.' Even in shoes full of blood, the men march on, partly because they have to and they have been ordered

  2. How is the horror of war, and the poets'criticism of war conveyed in the ...

    'Nothing happens', as he says four times - nothing except tiny changes in the time of day, the weather and the progress of the war. The men appear trapped in a No Man's Land between life and death, and the poem's movement is circular.

  1. A comparison of 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'Exposure' by Wilfred Owen, showing ...

    The last line, 'Pause over half-known faces. All their eyes are ice, But nothing happens.' This could have many different interpretations. I believe that 'half-known faces' represents how changed facially the soldiers are that they don't recognise each other. 'All their eyes are ice' means that because people's eyes are

  2. Compare and Contrast, The shock and horror presented in the three war poems - ...

    an arm, stated in the poem as 'legless, sewn short at elbow' The thick mud wrecked our eyesight while we were walking, It was really difficult to whip our eyes because we were so weak, and we needed to store vital energy so we could get back to safety, in

  1. I have selected the following two poems for my coursework. Homecoming which was written ...

    He uses the simile" like old beggars" to show what the 17 and 18 year olds have been reduced to. He writes "under sacks" which suggests rubbish sacks to describe their kit bags. He uses "knock-kneed" which suggests they are so tired that their knees knocked together.

  2. Poetry coursework - "Vultures" and "What Were They Like?"

    Lines twenty two to twenty nine are the poet's thoughts as oppose to the previous twenty one lines of description. The use of the punctuation "......." Tells us that he has not finished what he wanted to say. In the second verse he personifies love, "love in other ways so peculiar," love is normally fussy.

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