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

Using Homer's "Iliad" and Owens "Dulce et Decorum est" or Sassoon's "suicide in the trenches" write a comparison on the ways in which the writers describe the death of a soldier.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Using Homer's "Iliad" and Owens "Dulce et Decorum est" or Sassoon's "suicide in the trenches" write a comparison on the ways in which the writers describe the death of a soldier. Say how far you agree with the view that Homer focuses on the nobility of sacrifice whilst Owen/Sassoon deals with the stark reality. Both Homer and Owen, in their poems present arguments about the death of a soldier. However in Homers poem it appears he is engaging the writer with a much more emotional approach than that of Owens. He presents the soldiers as "great fighters" and "brave souls". In contrast, we see in Owens poem, a typical effect of war, and the realisation of death. With seeing so many men die each day, soldiers often became immune to deaths and unable to express any emotion of them. While Homer clearly feels for the deaths of the men in his poem, Owen, who unlike Homer was fighting in the war, has built up an immunity toward feeling the emotion of it, and instead presents death in a much more realistic way. The title of Homers poem "Iliad" jumps straight into the main theme of it, rage of Achilles. ...read more.

Middle

This description of death is more vivid and grotesque that that of Homer who simply describes it as "their bodies left to rot as feasts". Homer here uses a simile to show the comparison of how their bodies were left. This is similar to how Owen also uses a simile to describe the effect of the war on the troops "bent double like old beggars". Owen also uses one toward the end of the poem to show the effect of the gas on the man "obscene as cancer, bitter as cud". This double simile is a description of what happened to the man when he took in the gas and the substance that foamed out of his mouth is what is being described. Owen liked to use similes like this to emphasise the death of the soldier more so. The death of the soldier in Owens poem is taken as just another death as the body of the soldier is carelessly "behind the wagon that we flung him in". In the First World War, there were so many deaths that there was simply not enough time to build graves, and feel compassion for all of them. ...read more.

Conclusion

Homer instead uses language and words to add sorrow to sacrifice "immortal one" and "brave souls". By using words such as immortal and brave, Homer is giving the poem a much more sacrificial element, and again adds weight to the argument that he writes in a more emotive style. I believe that, Owens poem is showing the stark reality of the war. The fact that it is written in response to Jessie Pope to show her what the war is really like, also gives it more realistic properties. The death of the soldier, described by Owen shows how realistic the war is, especially when he is given no proper burial. Owen wanted to prove that war is not a game, and people die, which is not his idea of fun. At the end he uses the irony again to emphasise his point that propaganda is a cruel and twisted way of sending hundreds of men to their death. The death of the soldier in fact, is presented as realistic, throughout the poem we also see the effect of war, and what it does to the men "the men marched asleep". Owen is trying to show the people back home, how the war is not fun and games at all, it is murder and that's the stark realism of it. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    A Comparison of "Who's for the Game" and "Dulce et Decorum est".

    3 star(s)

    She creates this happy and jolly atmosphere by using an effective rhythmic rhyme scheme AbAb. This rhythm is stable and reliable throughout. This makes the poem sound light hearted. Pope refers to the country being in need. This is done by using lines such as: "Who'll give his country a hand"?

  2. Peer reviewed

    The World of words in Wilfred Owens Anthem For Doomed Youth and Dulce Et ...

    5 star(s)

    Having it separate really emphasizes the image of a terrified man, for whom there is no help. The mention of dreams shows us that Owen possibly has nightmares about this image. During the third stanza, the horrified soldier watches a fellow man suffocate to death because of a gas bomb.

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

    That pleasant word 'sleep', acting like my mother, it makes the shock go away for a little while, leaving me in peace. 'Till gathering sleep gad mothered them from him'. The girls don't want to touch me anymore because I don't look like a real human.

  2. The impact of bombing during WWII

    The government desperately wanted to create national unity in order to combat Hitler to the fullest capacity, as they knew his was the most powerful side. They needed the mass's support to produce munitions, save food for soldiers as imports were not present (due to Germans gaining supremacy over the

  1. "Suicide in the trenches" was written in 1917 and is a very emotional peom.

    They believe that they will go home dead. `Our ghosts drag home'. They question their belief in God because they feel like they are no different to dirt out in the trenches. `Tonight this frost will fasten on his mud and us'. The weather is personified to make us feel like the wind is attacking them.

  2. Wilfred Owens, 'The Send off' and 'Dulce et Decorum Est.'

    Line eleven, tells us how the men are being sent to death as someone is trying to move them away secretly 'like wrongs hushed up'. When the men are given flowers, we cant help but feel a sense of irony, as these flowers are normally given as a sign of

  1. How does Homer portray war in the Iliad?

    Then Diomedes, with the assistance of Athene drives his bronze spear deep into the belly of Ares, who is consequently saved by Zeus. In book six, Homer describes Hector's farewell to his wife Andromache and his child; Achilles later kills Hector.

  2. A comparison of two poems on the subject of war, "Who's for the game?" ...

    Owen also breaks from the pretty language prevalent in the poetry of his day to show his society the awful images of real and not romantically heroic war. Finally, Owen juxtaposes the idea of war as devastating and the idea of war as heroic to illustrate the poem's ultimate irony

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