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Compare two poems that look at different aspects of war and explain how each of them is effective

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Introduction

Into Battle...does it matter? Compare two poems that look at different aspects of war and explain how each of them is effective - (typed up timed essay) Does it really matter that you go into battle? According to Julian Grenfell it was a thing of virtue and patriotism. In his poem entitled "Into Battle", he talks of the glory and joy of tumbling over the ridge into the brazen frenzy. Julian Grenfell highlights the emotions felt before going to World War One. He galvanises the joys of war by euphemism. His diction entices the reader into thinking that the only way to fully enjoy life was by following Destined Will. He insisted that the true way to lead a human away from a stagnant and boring life was to go and fight for your country. "Dulce et decorum est" - this quote from the title of another poem significantly portrays what Grenfell thought. Although Wilfred Owen was contradicting the idea of grandeur in his poem, Grenfell believed that the struggle for survival was only a natural course to take. The title Into Battle seems to suggest a jaunty and uplifting motion. The idea of going 'into battle' was one to look forward to. Grenfell starts off the poem by using Mother Nature to inspire young men. ...read more.

Middle

His dictions is very contained and he makes sure that none of the words sound jarring. The soft wings are an impression of how angels will come to take those who have fallen for their country. Overall, it is romanticised and not in the least bit pragmatic. Many poems look at opposing aspects to those described in Into Battle, namely those written in Spring Offensive. However, I have chosen to compare "Into Battle" with "Does it matter?" by Siegfried Sassoon, simply because it is different. Sassoon sets a completely distinct tone, atmosphere, mood and image to his work. He uses numerous literary techniques to portray his true feelings. Unlike Grenfell, Sassoon uses virulent words which seem to attack the reader. One gets the feeling that Sassoon was foaming at the mouth by the time he had finished writing the poem. He launches into his scathing attack almost instantaneously, without giving the reader any time to think. The structure of the poem is very different to the one in "Into Battle". It is short (only three verses), sharp and succinct. He knew only too well the consequences of living through war and then having to come and live it every night in your dreams. He uses sarcasm to pretend to agree with the civilian speaker at the beginning of each of the stanzas and then contradict them by ending the verse on a very sardonic note. ...read more.

Conclusion

Each sentence is short, sharp and pointy. He has used strong consonants: hunting, sight and matter. The repetitive usages of the't' sound adds emphasis to this. He has even used a rhyming scheme to make the poem look jovial, but the rhyming words are contrasting too: blind - kind and glad - mad. He uses colloquial style language to really hit out at the virulent truths and shows how war is not romantic. He uses anapaest metre (where two unstressed syllables are followed by a stressed one) to symbolise the incongruous aspects of war. Everything is completely different to what the public imagine it to be. The glass painting which Grenfell took so long to paint with his intense pathetic fallacy and elaborate words has been immediately shattered by Sassoon's concise blade. Both poems are so contrasting to each other, that it is quite oxymoronic. Grenfell focuses on the idyllic, romantic, pre-war propaganda, whereas Sassoon highlights the aftermath and consequences of was. The structure, rhyme scheme, rhythm and literary techniques are also in contrast. Grenfell has a slow, soft and comforting style, on the other hand, Sassoon has written a cacophonous, satirical and virulent poem. I personally prefer "Does it matter?" because it is not at all pessimistic, but really depicts the harsh realities of war. I, in fact, despise how those like Grenfell have tried to romanticise war just to have lead more young men to their deaths! ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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