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Attitudes to War in 'Dulce et Decorum est' and 'Drummer Hodge'.

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Introduction

POETRY ASSIGNMENT ATTITUDES TO WAR Life wasn't easy for soldiers in the war as Wilfred Owen and Thomas Hardy express strongly in their legendary poems 'Dulce et Decorum est' and 'Drummer Hodge'. Peter Porter writes about the situation people may find themselves in when in, his poem 'Your Attention Please', he describes an announcement concerning a nuclear Rocket Strike. Wilfred Owen died at the age of 25 and was killed seven days before the end of World War 1. He is regarded as one of the most well-known war poets of the 20th Century, having written an astonishing 110 poems. Under the influence of Romantic, early 19th Century poets such as Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley, Owen produced 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' which revealed the truth behind war, the grief and suffering caused. Wilfred Owen wanted to dismiss the idea of romance as a motivation to fight in the war; young men believed that fighting in the war would make them heroes and that girls would be passionate about them. Of course many men didn't have an option in the matter: wives and girlfriends chose not to stay with their man if they didn't fight in the war, so men were forced to join up. ...read more.

Middle

By contrast, Wilfred Owen had been at the event in his poem and had seen the pain and suffering that took place whereas Hardy only read about the event described in his poem and wasn't involved in it. Thomas Hardy used his imagination to convey the feelings and experiences of people more strongly involved in the war. In his poem "Drummer Hodge" Hardy read about the death of a drummer boy and thought it was sad that a young boy, who was too young to understand the war, should be buried so far from home. The title "Drummer Hodge" was given to the poem to put across the cruelty of war to an individual. Drummer Hodge could represent any of the young soldiers who died during duty but uninformed as to what the war was about. The poem has a very regular rhyme and rhythm to it. Every alternate line in each verse rhymes. It starts with the word "they" which is unwelcoming and is joined with the next two words, "throw in", giving us the image of a quick 'disposal of the body' and the feeling that nobody cares about him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Owen has kept a steady rhyming scheme like Hardy whereas Porter has not included any indicated of rhythm as it doesn't fit in with the poem. Out of all three poems Owen is the only one who uses similes such as "like a man in fire or lime" where the man is in pain and is struggling to stay alive. Alliteration is used in both Owen and Hardy's poems. Most of Dulce et Decorum est is written in the 1st person perspective but many times it changes to 3rd person. When it's in 1st person it gives us the feeling of reality and truth behind the poem. In conclusion, war brings a great deal of pain and suffering so it shouldn't be under-estimated. Wilfred Owen, Thomas Hardy and Peter Porter all bring across the reality behind war and the torture it brings with it. Personally my favourite out of the three is "Dulce et Decorum est" as I know it's a true account of what happened in the war because Wilfred Owen was a soldier and died in action. I thought this poem contained a lot of discomfort and misery making it more out of the ordinary and authentic. ...read more.

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