• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Dulce est Decorum est and For the Fallen

Extracts from this document...


COMPARE IN WHAT WAYS DO THE POETS PORTRAY THE EXPERIENCE OF WAR IN 'DULCE ET DECORUM EST' AND 'FOR THE FALLEN'. Laurence Binyon wrote 'For the Fallen' in 1914 at the beginning of the Great War, while Wilfred Owen composed his 'Dulce et Decorum Est' in 1917-18 near the end of the conflict. This discrepancy in time suggests that there might be inconsistencies in the portrayal of the war, due to the changing perspectives upon the fighting, which in turn would provoke irregularities in the purpose, style and nature of the two poems. In 'For the Fallen', Binyon tells us that the soldiers have 'fallen in the cause of the free', thus suggesting that they try to make the world a better place, that they fight for something good. This gives war a mighty purpose and the men's deaths meaning. The concept of fighting 'for the greater good' is further highlighted in the phrase 'a glory that shines upon our tears', which conveys the idea that the sacrifices of the soldiers contribute to the welfare of society and thus everybody should be proud of those who are fighting. In 'Dulce et Decorum Est', Owen tries to prove to us that war has no mighty purpose behind it and that it is just a waste of lives. ...read more.


The determination which they seem to possess suggests that they believe that their deaths have a higher purpose. This encourages the reader and the mourning families to have faith that their loved ones' lives weren't wasted, but contrarily represented a admirable sacrifice for humanity. It seems that the greatest difference between the two poems lies in the way they portray death and their significance. In 'For the Fallen' death is 'august and royal', thus dignified and splendid, something rather positive and good. This is because the sacrificed soldiers' songs go to up 'into immortal spheres', suggesting the place where the dead soldiers found peace. This idea is repeated throughout the whole poem. The phrase 'they shall not grow old, as we that are left to grow old' implies that the deceased soldiers are divine, angelic and eternal beings. Due to their valiant deaths, their reward is that of eternity, as if their vibrant, determined and brave souls were immortalised, and thus they will be forever young, forever in the best of their condition. The deceased soldier's march in the 'heavenly plains' is 'as the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness'. 'Heavenly' and 'stars' suggest that the divine fighters' light will always be upon the mortal humans, guiding and protecting them. ...read more.


Owen, who wrote the poem near the end of the conflict, seems to be well informed about the direct experience of the war and at the same time he is aware of the patriotic and idyllic accounts that existed at the beginning of the fighting. This explains the angry, visceral and meaningless deaths which he depicts in his poem, almost as if he was angry about people lying and making war seem a worthy, purposeful thing. And indeed, his poem ends with a call to other people not to 'tell with such high zest/To children ardent for some glory, / the old Lie: Dulce et decorum est/ Pro patria mori (It is sweet, and honourable to die for one's country). Owen wrote as an answer to other poems such as Binyon's which glorify the experience of war, and this is why he chose the title 'Dulce et decorum est', to evoke the memory of the patriotic accounts from the beginning of the war, and then throughout his poem to shatter 'the old Lie'. He personifies the lie with the use of the capital letter, in order to compare its destructive force to that of a malicious person's. This is the reason why Owen sticks to visceral descriptions - he prefers not to spare the reader, because he believes that the Lie is even more cruel than the merciless reality of the war. ?? ?? ?? ?? Diana Lucaci ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Achilles' Sacrifices in the Iliad

    When confronted with the decision of not only whether to accept Agamemnon's gifts or not but also to choose glory or life, Achilles chooses to live as opposed to having glory because the death of Patroclus had not happened yet.


    SILAS Wait! Who else do you know about? DAN BROWN Everyone! But, if I'm correct, everything will reset itself just as the book went. SILAS And what happens to me? Dan slowly looks up at Silas. His expression dies down. Then he looks down. DAN BROWN (quietly) You...you die. SILAS What? DAN BROWN You die Silas! SILAS Why?

  1. conflicting perspectives joan of arc and julius caesar

    "And Brutus is an honorable man" (L79) Repetition is used throughout the speech to question, challenge and create uncertainty regarding Caesar the megalomaniac. Harming the reputation of Brutus encourages skepticism among the audience as to whether he is a credible person to except the reasons and motives for slaying Caesar.

  2. Regret in E.Thomas' Poems

    The reader may interpret this as a suggestion that Helen has lost herself in domesticity; and we see the irony that, in her helping Edward find himself, she is now lost.

  1. English - Of Mice and Men

    'They left all the weak ones here.. .' But what she doesn't realise is that she is also one of the 'weak'. She is the 'weak ones' because of her gender; her being a woman is the weakest bit about her.

  2. Will - Hobson's Choice

    As Henry hears the news about the two of them, he decides to 'leather' Will; in other words whip him with a belt. Just as Henry is about to strike, Will talks back at him and quickly kisses Maggie. This can be seen as a sign that Will is already beginning to change.

  1. The Stars

    They dropped bombs, she says darkly. There are diseases and radiation poisoning spreading all over the country, your father says. Not in LA you shout defiantly. Your mother holds up the newspapers one at a time. WAR is on the cover of each one, along with speculations on the doomed fate of the country, including LA.

  2. Comparing and Contrasting Poems

    When the men have awoken, their reaction to the snow is nothing but obvious shock and pleasure. The boys also react in the same way: "Then boys I heard, as they went to school, calling" (Line 19) On the other hand, in 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge", it begins in the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work