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'Dulce Et Decorum Est' in comtrast to Hodges Drummer Boy

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Introduction

War Poetry Assignment This assignment aims to provide insight to casualties of war at the turn of the century from two very different perspectives. Wilfred Owen writes of the Boar War and the utter "hopelessness the soldiers" face whilst Hardy writes in a romantic, idealised way, with notions that "strange eyed constellations" will preserve "His starts eternally". It must be also noted that Hardy writes not of own personal experience but of a true story, details of which he extracted from a local paper at the time. Conversely, Owen writes using his first hand experience drawn from his time serving in World War 1. "Newly arrived in France in January 1917, Second Lieutenant Wilfred Owen wrote home to his mother, explaining how the real thing - mud - was making itself manifest, inundating his sleeping bag and his pyjamas: welcome to the Western Front".1 Wilfred Owen was regarded as one of the most well-known war poets of the 20th Century, having written an astonishing 110 poems. He died at the age of 25, killed seven days before the end of World War 1. ...read more.

Middle

Owens dream's replay the horror of watching his fellow soldier suffer and feels as regret and hopelessness that he could not do more about the rumour that it is 'sweet and fitting'. Owen concludes that 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' is a lie, and the disturbing story told throughout the poem is in itself enough to convince the most stubborn war support. However, it is the use of striking comparisons and compelling metaphors that drive the poets point home. Hardy lived from 1840 to 1928. He was the son of a mason, from Dorset, in the south west of England. Thomas Hardy was married twice - his first marriage, long and mostly unhappy, was to Emma Gifford. They married in 1874. Emma died in 1912, and in 1914 Hardy married his secretary, Florence Dugdale, who later became his biographer. Hardy died in 1928, aged 87. He had asked to be laid beside Emma, but his body was buried in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. Thomas Hardy's "Drummer Hodge' is a poem that speaks out about the horrors of war. The poem particularly focuses on the personal tragedy of a young innocent boy from Hardy's Wessex who died whilst serving in the Boer War in South Africa between 1899- 1902. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hardy does not support this prejudice and uses it merely to his advantage. His "homely Northern breast and brain" suggests Hodge was a simple, unpretentious boy, but a valuable human nonetheless. While alive Hodge never felt comfortable with the new and unfamiliar night sky, or had the time to learn the names of his new surroundings, yet this alien landscape becomes his permanent home. The constellations that were foreign to him become "His stars eternally." The reader feels the level of sadness felt by Hardy as he attempts to draw in the readers' sympathy towards the boy. The focus throughout on "constellations" and "stars" which again gives ideals of romance, is used to lessen the reality and tragedy of war. This is especially true when we consider that "Young Hodge the Drummer" is portrayed as being na�ve and innocent to the horrors around him. The final verse once again does its best to remind us of the hopelessness of war and Hardy's torment. This place will be his new home for the soldier, his final resting place. One where he will be revered and honoured by his surroundings, if not by the men he served. 1 The Independent Newspaper Nov 2006 ?? ?? ?? ?? Rees Curran Coursework 1 ...read more.

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