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War poetry comparision The Drum & Dulce et Decorum est.

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Introduction

English Coursework The Drum & Dulce et Decorum est War poetry is written either by those who want to promote war as a glamorous adventure or by those who want to depict war as a painful experience causing horror and despair to those involved. Poetry was used in some newspapers during World War one as a means of recruitment for soldiers. One journalist Jessie Pope was famed for this type of War poetry and was criticised by many poets who focused on the horrific truths war of for them and all soldiers. War poetry often gives us a accurate impression of the suffering soldiers had to endure. Poetry is also a valuable source of information on war. In most historical books and reports we are given only detached, objective and factual information. War poetry from the likes of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon give us their own personal feelings of war and the death as reported through their eyes. The two poems I will be comparing will be John Scott's pre 1900 poem "The Drum" and Wilfred Owen's post 1900 poem "Dulce et Decorum est." Both of these poems are anti-war but are written by people who have had very different experiences of war. John Scott who was a Quaker and opposed to all violence wrote "The Drum" in 1782. ...read more.

Middle

To end the poem Scott Personifies the word 'Misery' as if it was living in the hearts and minds of the soldiers. The title 'Dulce et Decorum est' is part of the old Latin saying that it is a fine and honourable thing to die for your country. By using this as a title Owen is making a statement to his intended audience who he resented deeply. The first verse describes nothing but absolute horror and exhaustion. Words like 'haunting' describe the horror while a lot of Alliteration is used in phrases such as 'knock-kneed' and 'the trudge of troops' to show the level of tiredness. The phrases are used along with others like 'Bent doubled like old beggars' and 'coughing like hags' to reinforce the hellish conditions even the Five-Nines are spent from exhaustion. The word all is used twice to show that no one escaped the torment. The second verse begins frantically reflecting the panic of the men as shells of Gas fall around them. The men are in a life and death situation and the use of 'just in time' demonstrates how lucky they have been to survive. But one man has not been so fortunate and his death in the sea of green is described in great detail. We are told how the was drowning as he watched helplessly. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both of these poems send out a clear message that war is a terrible and horrific thing for all involved. Both poets are very resentful of those who recruit the young to fight. Scott speaks of the 'thoughtless youth' who 'sell their liberty for charms' and in a similar vain Owen tells of 'children ardent for some desperate glory'. In both poems we are told of wars misery but in must be said that Owen has used far more brutal and horrific imagery. I also think that because Owens war experiences helped to produce such a hate of war that there is more passion and personal feeling n his poem. Scott gives a very general view of war that although is quite true is not as striking or as affective. Scott does make good uses of poetic techniques such as Alliteration and Personification to make his feelings come alive to the reader. He uses a rhyming scheme of couplets to make the poem like a nursery rhyme reinforcing the feeling that youth are the victims. Owens Poem is full of his own personal life at war. He demonstrates his hate of war and the horror of it which haunts his sleep time and time again. This poem would have made a strong statement to those who supported the war and made Owen unpopular with many but the graphic imagery would have made many stop and think about the reality of war. ...read more.

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**** 4 STARS

An excellent essay - perceptive and thoughtful comments are well supported by quotes. Accurate use of literary terminology and insightful comments show a real understanding and knowledge of both poems. Well written.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 07/08/2013

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