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Dulce Et Decorum Est And The Soldier

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Dulce Et Decorum Est And The Soldier Dulce et decorum est is written regarding the First World War in the hindsight of the battle of the Somme. This takes a somewhat cynical view on warfare. The soldier by Rupert Brooke on the other hand takes a very strong patriotic feel and this shines through more then anything else. The soldier paints a picture of English serenity and whereas "dulce et." portrays Owens anger at the indifference of those at home who continued to propagate lies. You can see the influence of Siegfried Sassoon in this piece. The language is more direct and shocking "guttering, choking, drowning" helps convey the grievance in the air. In the soldier the language is less deplorable and has a feel more of a love poem "her sights and sounds... ...read more.


Owen on the other hand almost haunts the reader using fiery vocabulary to help depict the shocking death of a soldier "guttering, Choking, Drowning." Owen clearly wanted to address the people at home and suggests to them that if, in their worst nightmares, they could re-live this experience, they would not keep repeating that it is good and sweet to die for your country. He is saying that no one who has witnessed these horrors could ever encourage anyone to take part in such a war. He had already pointed out the exhaustion of the soldiers "drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots" helping the reader to visualise the lack of awareness of the soldiers. This certainly will give the reader a much more negative take on the war contaray to the over-hyped propaganda war that those at home believe. ...read more.


The description of his face and eyes "And watch the white eyes writhing in his face" gives him a ghost-like quality. This verse is intended to demonstrate the realism of a violent, unnecessary death; hence it builds to a crescendo of anger, before a final earnest plea to stop the lies. These two poems could be no more different. 'The soldier' is a poem supporting the war in a way not too dissimilar to the way the media in that time promoted it whilst 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' is a pessimistic take on a war that was conveyed by the British media as far from the truth as possible. Owen wanted the British people to know the truth about the war and expressed these feelings best in his poetry. Brooke in contrast went along with the glamorized image that had been portrayed by the media, which wasn't a fair reflection on the war. Owen Taylor Q12 ...read more.

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Response to the question

The Response to the Question is of admirable size and the candidate clearly grasps what has been asked of them, though there appears to be some sort of barrier in place that prevents this essay scoring a high mark. Few ...

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Response to the question

The Response to the Question is of admirable size and the candidate clearly grasps what has been asked of them, though there appears to be some sort of barrier in place that prevents this essay scoring a high mark. Few comparisons are really made, and the entire essay boils down to only the tone of the poems - that Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum est' is "negative" and Brooke's 'The Soldier' is "glorified". This is not the sum total of their differences, and there are of course, similarities that need to be recognised and commented on to a fair extent. The most the candidate says of the poems' similarities here is "Both poems are based on death in Wars." Candidates should look to try and consider both similarities and differences when comparing poems.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis isn't the most effective I've ever read. A lot of what is written considers a fair variety of poetic techniques but often resorts to how they contribute to the tone of the poems. There isn't a sufficient analysis of the poems as a whole - the language analysis and imagery analysis is fine as both go hand in hand, but there is not enough explicit emphasis on the individual poetic devices both poets use, such a rhyme scheme, syllabic rhythm, metaphors, similes, personification, triples, etc. This needs to be considered if the essay is to pull itself out of the low/middle C grade boundary.

I would also like to point out that no marks are awarded for re-interpreting the poem or simply writing out 'what the poem is actually saying' as it were. Points in this question are given for insightful comparative points and thoughtful analysis. Simply re-writing the poets' meaning lowers the mark considerably.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication (QWC) here is quite poor. Frequently, there is misuse of apostrophes and inverted commas. Please note that the standard form of quoting from published sources like poems is by using speech marks ("abc") and that only when citing the/a published source's name is their a requirement for inverted commas ('xyz'), so you would look to write "guttering, choking, drowning" and 'Dulce et Decorum est'. Also note that it is not standard practice to short or abbreviate the titles of published works to things like "Dulce et". Apostrophes also have errors in use - "Owens anger" as opposed to the correct "Owen's anger" - and there is absolutely no need to put inverted commas around the names of poets ('Edward Thomas', 'Charles Hamilton Sorely').

Elsewhere, there are a few syntax errors, meaning sentences often come across confused and incomplete, and same made-up terms have also been used e,.g. "cynicalism" (the correct term is cynicism). Candidates should be very aware of their QWC when writing all essays that require a good, clear use of English because if examiners struggle to read your essays, they will simply move on. I recommend a good re-read and spell-check to iron out any inconsistencies and inaccuracies in QWC.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 27/06/2012

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