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Compare the attitudes of the commanding officers in at least three poems writtten before 1914

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Introduction

Compare the attitudes towards the commanding officers in at least three poems written before 1914 Wars have been occurring for thousands of years and soldiers have always looked at their leader for motivation and guidance, some leaders provide this and others don't. Soldiers don't always look at their leaders in good way and in some cases they resent them. In the four poems, we receive four different representations of four leaders. "The Burial of Sir John Moore After Corunna," is written about Sir John Moore, a British Army officer. Sir John Moore took command of the British forces in Spain during the Spanish War, opposing Napoleon and his 200,000 men. He died in the battle of Corunna. The poem celebrates Sir John Moore's life and it tells the reader how the "hero" was "buried." "King Henry V" is taken from William Shakespeare's play, Henry V. It is a motivational speech he is giving to his soldiers before the battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years' War. In the poem he is very motivational. Henry V is one of the most famous warrior kings, who fought beside everyday soldiers during his reign in the 15th century. "The Drum," is a poem by John Scott and was published in 1793, the poem brings the bad side of war to the reader's attention, condemning the leaders of wars as cowards. The poem was written during the French Revolutionary Wars, the First Coalition and during the French Revolution, which may be what the poet is discussing. ...read more.

Middle

In "the Burial of Sir John Moore After Corunna," the soldiers are so devoted to the leader that they took the time to carry his corpse and bury it with care. When they buried him "Not a drum was heard," implying that the war was almost still to them because their leader is dead and it created an emotional atmosphere conveying how much they valued him. The word "hero," is used to describe Sir John Moore, which suggests he was a role model for his troops and that he set a very good example with his brave and heroic actions. Furthermore, they buried "him darkly at dead of night," this conveys that they took the time and effort to do this when they could be resting. Also, there is a calming rhythm in the phrase "darkly dead of night," with the use of alliteration which mirrors that of the atmosphere when they buried, whilst burying the "hero." It is said that he "lay like a warrior taking his rest," which suggest that he is being buried as he lived, a noble warrior. He is buried "with his martial cloak around him," so the reader get a feeling of him being buried with pride and dignity because he has achieved a lot in his lifetime. Wolfe goes on to say that they "spoke not a word of sorrow," but they "bitterly thought of the morrow." This is suggesting that they stood tall, buried their leader and celebrated his achievements rather than mourning. ...read more.

Conclusion

he does say that commanding officers allow men "to fight and fall in foreign lands," condemning the commanding officers as being cowards. The other two poems are very similar in their attitudes towards the leaders. In "The Burial of Sir John Moore After Corunna," the leader who died was clearly a very good leader because the soldiers are giving him a dignified burial, leaving "him alone with his glory." Henry V, in the poem taken from "Henry V," is shown as a very motivational leader who fights along side his fellow soldiers, addressing them as "friends." He is presented as such a good leader that if he were to die his soldiers would probably give him a similar burial to the one Sir John Moore received. However, Henry V does manipulate his men making them question their "breeding," and so on. This means that the leader best presented is Sir John Moore. So it can be seen how the leaders have been presented in each of the four poems in very different ways. However, as Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, once said "You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership." Humour aside, in a similar fashion you don't lead you men blindly in to battle in to "the Jaws of death." And this is essentially the difference between the bad leaders and the good leaders, some care and others don't and some take pride in leading their men confidently in to battle and others don't. ?? ?? ?? ?? Pre-1914 English Literature Coursework 1 ...read more.

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