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comparing war poems

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Introduction

Post - 1900 Poetry 'Dulce et Decorum est' Wilfred Owen (1918) 'The Dead' Rupert Brooke (1914) Coursework question: Compare and contrast one First World War poem written before battle began with one poem written in the light of battle experience. Consider in particular the language used, and the different attitudes to dying for one's country, in the two poems. 'Dulce et Decorum est' written by Wilfred Owen in 1918. The poem expresses different ideas because of the writer's experience, knowledge and understanding of war. Some may say the poem is only from one mans view and Owen only speaks for himself, however, 'Dulce et Decorum est' was written in the light of the battle and has details and knowledge behind it. Owen rejects Brooke's romantic style. Owen uses many words that are ugly in texture, words like "guttering", "choking", and "drowning". These not only show how the soldier is suffering, but that he is in a terrible pain that no human being should suffer, this use of diction creates a sense of horror in the poem. ...read more.

Middle

He creates very strong graphic imagery. Owen continues his use of strong metaphors with, "vile, incurable sores". "In all my dreams, before my helpless sight" and the horror of the dying soldier lives on in Owen's dreams, "He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning" This pivotal moment creates images, which Owen wants the readers to see, because he cannot forget. Wilfred Owen uses short sentences to speed up the pace of the poem in the opening line of the second stanza: "Gas! Gas! Quick boys! He implies the soldiers are terrified. This also creates an image of panic, which indicates physical, heightened emotions in the soldiers. When Owen says, "Many had lost their boots, but limped on, blood-shod." He shows how poor and bad the conditions the soldiers were in and had to experience, how their shoes were covered in blood and how tired they became. Unlike Owen, Rupert Brooke is weaker on imagery because Owen expresses many aspects of his poem using terrified and gory imagery whereas Brooke rarely uses it, ...read more.

Conclusion

They are not rich in material like gold but rich in sacrifice. Brooke repeats "Blow, bugles, blow!" in both the stanzas; this suggests we must celebrate their death. 'The Dead' is more of an emotional, sentimental poem than 'Dulce et Decorum est'. One example can be seen in the sestet: "Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain". These romantic textured words 'Love' and 'Pain' are strong emotions that Brooke uses. Rupert Brooke having not experienced war is writing to inspire young men. Comparing the way in which the soldiers are experiencing war and dying 'Dulce et Decorum est' is very much more agonizing, mainly because of Wilfred Owens use of imagery, picturing the soldiers exhausted, tired and horrified in the first stanza of the poem however Rupert Brooke emphasizes 'The Dead' being naive, futile and misguided. In the sestet, Rupert Brooke believes that the death of the soldiers brings back "holiness", "nobleness" and "honour" to their country. This conclusion contains the idea that Britain is a better country for being at war. War gives us rich rewards. ...read more.

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