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From the quiet heroic patriotism seen in Rupert Brookes the Soldier, the tragedy and horror seen in Wilfred Owens Dulce et Decorum Est, to Siegfried Sassoons Suicide in the Trenches, war poetry captures a vast array of different subjects regardin

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The 20th century was a time of great conflict and turmoil, with many wars breaking out between the countries of the world. Many different attitudes towards to the wars were seen during the century, in the form of poems from various poets involved in war. From the quiet heroic patriotism seen in Rupert Brooke's the Soldier, the tragedy and horror seen in Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est, to Siegfried Sassoon's Suicide in the Trenches, war poetry captures a vast array of different subjects regarding war. Through these poets' subject matter and tone, diction, structure and their poem's titles, all three poets are able to articulate their personal views on war to the reader. Although the poems are all written regarding the First World War, they illustrate different tones in their writing, but all concern the subject matter of death. Brooke's poem the Soldier has a gentle and patriotic tone, with a mood of solace in the death of the soldier. This can be seen in the first stanza of the poem, Brooke tenderly depicting his forecasted death in the foreign soil, which will, in turn, eternally become a part of England. In the second stanza, the tone changes to one of peace and serenity, through the use of phrases such as "dreams happy as her day," "laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness," and "In hearts at peace." ...read more.


The diction used in all three poems reflects the views and attitudes of the poets, reinforcing their beliefs to the reader, and in some cases changing their opinion on war. The structures of Brooke's, Owen's and Sassoon's poems vary, with each uniquely structuring their ideas to reinforce different points throughout their poems. Brooke elucidates his message by choosing an unusual structure, a fourteen-line iambic pentameter sonnet. It is unusual because there are no obvious couplets, but it includes an octet and a sestet. The difference between them is that in the first stanza, the soldier describes his last will on his way to the war. The second stanza takes place in the future when he is dead and he describes what presumably will happen after he is deceased. Splitting the two into different sections reinforces the second stanza - the proud manner of the soldier's death. The structure of Dulce et Decorum Est is based on two sonnets. The first with a stanza of eight lines and one of six lines follows the conventional stanza form, also known as the Petrarchian sonnet. The second sonnet is a modified form of the Shakespearian sonnet, with the modifications clarifying Owen's message. The two-line couplet describing the horrific manner of death is a good example of this. The couplet is isolated to further reiterate the nature and calamity in the death of the soldier, representing one of millions. ...read more.


In sharp contrast to both of these, Sassoon's choice of title for Suicide in the Trenches is descriptive and immediately sets the scene for the poem, reeling the reader in. The title is stated as a matter-of-fact, almost like it is not a major concern, effectively gaining the attention of the reader. Through the titles of Brooke's, Owen's and Sassoon's poems, the reader is intrigued and is inquisitive about the story behind the poem, successfully catching the interest of the reader. Brooke, Owen and Sassoon use poetic techniques such as subject matter and tone, diction and structure to effectively connect with the reader on an emotional level, and also to express their own respective views on war. In comparing and reading through these poems, I have been able to clearly see the different perspectives and opinions on war. War is one of the most incredibly vain and violent things that can happen to a nation and to an individual, regardless of patriotism. I did not agree with the devotion the soldier in Brooke's poem had to England and although the idea of his death was beautifully portrayed, the reality would have been the polar opposite. I found that I strongly agreed with Owen and Sassoon's poems, because were much closer to the truth, and really dispelled any misconception one might have on the veracity of war. These poems have further reinforced my initial standing on war - that it is futile and antiquated, and always will result in destruction, devastation, catastrophe and loss, with absolutely no positive gain. ...read more.

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