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Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen and The Soldier by Rupert Brooke - Why Are They So Different?

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Introduction

DULCE ET DECORUM EST BY WILFRED OWEN AND THE SOLDIER BY RUPERT BROOKE - WHY ARE THEY SO DIFFERENT? The poems 'Dulce et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen and 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke were both written between 1914 and 1918, the time of the first world war. On reading the poems for the first time, they may seem very similar because they are based on war but after analysing them closer I found out that this isn't the case. They are different in many ways. With these poems being written at the same time the content of the poems are very similar. The similarities that emerge in these two poems are much more obvious than the differences. They are very superficial. War is evidently the main topic with 'The Soldier' being about a soldiers opinions on fighting for his country and 'Dulce et Decorum Est' being about the blood and gore which appeared during the end of the first world war. ...read more.

Middle

It tells us just how bad the health of the soldiers were and how they were intoxicated with exhaustion. Gas shells were dropping everywhere and soldiers desperately tried to fit gas masks whilst watching helpless friends struggle says Wilfred Owen in 'Dulce et Decorum Est'. We know from Owen's words that the state of the soldiers was so careless that death was just routine for them as they 'flung' injured soldiers into wagons. 'The Soldier' doesn't make war seem so horrific and this may be because it was written in 1914 and 'Dulce et Decorum Est' was written in 1918. In 1914 the real terrors of the war had not been publicised. 'The Soldier' gives us a real feeling of patriotism as England is mentioned several times. ...read more.

Conclusion

A very clear picture is painted in your mind. I feel that these two poems contradict each other by one saying that it is right to die for your country and the other disagreeing. Rupert Brooke's ideas about war were much more old-fashioned than Wilfred Owen's. Owen's ideas are more futuristic and the war he describes is more developed and innovative. The things he describes such as gas bombs are much more advanced than the guns that would probably have been used on the battlefields that were possible the setting for 'The Soldier'. Personally I prefer 'Dulce et Decorum Est' because it gives me more of an image in my head than 'The Soldier' does. It is a lot more descriptive and to the point whereas Rupert Brooke was very vague about the awfulness of the First World War. Wilfred Owen's style of writing intrigues me more and I was able to understand it. ...read more.

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