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Comparing Poems, The Soldier & Dulce et Decorum est.

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Introduction

Comparing Poems, The Soldier & Dulce et Decorum est. I will be comparing two poems in this essay, The Soldier, (1915) By Rupert Brooke, and Dulce et Decorum est (1917) By Wilfred Owen. I will be comparing the views of both writers and also the techniques/language they use to convey that view, both writers have distinct views on war. The poems are similar in the simple fact they are about war itself, but the views and messages within the poems are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Both writers portray their views in different ways, for example, Rupert Brooke has chosen to describe his dead body as a symbol for England. "If I should die, think only this of me" the poem then goes on to describe England in a very patriotic way, "In hearts at peace, under an English heaven." The words "peace" and "heaven" create a peaceful and heavenly feel within the poem, they are calming, soothing words, and they give the poem that edge or serenity. Then, on the other hand Wilfred Owen has chosen too depict a gruesome war story that he himself had witnessed. ...read more.

Middle

The Latin used at the end of the poem means 'It is sweet and honourable to die for your country', a concept Owen is strongly denying throughout this poem. The title, 'The Soldier' evokes a wasted life but the poem shows that in fact it is honourable to die for your country. The poem was written at the start of the war to try and convince young men to go to war as 'The Soldier' could be anybody and applies to all. Throughout the first stanza of Dulce et it is slow and sets the scene. Owen uses effective similes to portray a tone of dirty, grimy experiences the soldiers had to go through. 'Like beggars under sacks.' Lets you feel the restrictive movement of the soldiers. 'Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots but limped on". This draws you in with the graphic war scene. also in the opening stanza is characterised by language about 'fatigue': the soldiers 'marched asleep', they 'trudge', and 'limped on'. They are 'deaf', 'lame' and 'blind'; all rather pitiful language intended to reveal the reality of war and its effects. ...read more.

Conclusion

The use of alliteration on the 'w' sound reflects the agonised twisting of the gas victim. The opening of the poem suggests Owen pities the state to which the soldiers have fallen. Instead of youthful, strong fighters they are 'Bent double', 'Knock-kneed, coughing like hags'. Owen's imagery presents the men as prematurely old and weakened. War has broken these men, and they are described in the most unglamorous, inglorious manner. Owen's bitterness at this transformation is obvious. Owen's disillusionment with war is also clear from the closing lines of the poem. After describing the horrifying effects of the gas attack he addresses the reader: 'My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie' He is rejecting the accepted attitude back at home that serving your country in war is glorious. He is critical of the 'high zest', or great enthusiasm, used to convince men to go to war. He sees war as brutal and wasteful of young lives. His choice of the word 'children' is also significant; impressionable young men are almost lured to war by the promise of 'desperate glory'. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This is a good essay on 'Dulce et Decorum Est' but it is much weaker on 'The Soldier'. When completing a comparative essay you do not need to show an exact fifty - fifty split but you do need to show a good coverage of both poems as well as making relevant comparisons between the two poems.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 07/08/2013

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