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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Essay length: 9003 words

Poetry English language

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Study a selection of War poetry. What are the poets' attitudes to the War? Wars have been around for many years, in fact, they have been around as long as humans have been around. When you come to think of it, Warfare means solving problems by force (fighting, War). The problems that might result to War could be: to gain land (this could be to gain power), to get resources from another country (oil, gold, and diamonds). Religion (this is the War that we are fighting now), to support another country who is lured (maybe reluctantly) into War, this is known as supporting an ally. I think that the scale of Warfare has changed; firstly, the weapons used in War these days have become more sophisticated. Today we use auto reload rifles, bullet-proof vests, bombs with sensors etc. back in World War 1 (WW1) they used rifles, bayonets and had no knowledge of the machine guns that were used by the German army. As a result, more people will be killed. Secondly troops can be moved from long distances much easily; before if you were in the English army (in the middle ages especially) you were shipped off to your location of War and you would march to wherever you were ordered to fight. Nowadays you are transported in helicopters or jet planes, so the soldiers can get to the battle-zone more easily, so the job will be done much quicker as a result. Most governments have now ensured that they have a professional army. In WW1 Lord Kitchener managed to recruit millions of British men, about a third of them were either: unfit, too young or unwell. Now the armed forces have become more sophisticated, they do fitness tests and medical and drug tests to ensure that the new recruits are well prepared for battle. In approximately a couple of years I could see myself joining the armed forces, preferably the army, it, in fact, it is the future that I hope to fulfil as a career.

Middle

Like saying "don't join up". This affects his attitude toward the soldiers because in Charge, evidently he honoured what the soldiers did, so he thinks good of war. However Wilfred Owen doesn't like war, so consequently he describes the soldier in a gruesome and vile way. I might not be correct but that is how I see it. When you like somebody you talk about them nicely, when you dislike them you talk about them nastily, just how Owen says "and care of arms", another use of irony because he hasn't got any arms. Also when people write poems, they must have a tone, this means the message the poet is trying to make. Without it, it won't be interesting. The tone of how Owen writes this is sad, of pity, of the problems and consequences of war. Many comments made by Owen are ironic; this is a written version of sarcasm. Irony is making things sound like they could happen now they can't. For example when he mentions "for daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes" this is the most moving and sympathetic form of irony; he can't have daggers in plaid socks because his legs were blown off, so he hasn't got socks to wear. And of 'smart salutes', he can't salute because he hasn't got any arms left. In Charge however, there isn't any ironic language in this poem, but that will be because of the fact that it is such an upbeat poem, Tennyson wants to cheer the soldiers for what they did; wants to honour the soldiers, except Disabled talks about the pities of war, and how people may become. Owen uses irony because he wants to point out good things that really mean bad, such as "smiling, they wrote his lie" this means that he was too young but they recruited him anyway. This shows that although he quotes it in a good term, he means it in a bad term.

Conclusion

The last poem was a Rondeau, the poem before that was split into two verses. I think more of his death than I would have done if it was a different style. I can infer that this poem is in a formal language, from how he uses words like "the eternal mind" and "blest by suns of home". I don't think that it is neither hard nor easy to work it out because it is there on the page, but you have to look closely to work some of it out. Also there is no description of injury or battle, that's confusing because he's actually going to battle; you'd expect him to be talking about violence. But f you cast your minds back you will realise that he hasn't been there long, so he couldn't have had a clear view of what was happening, in WW1 soldiers were told that it would be over by Christmas. Plus it was also designed to be read if he died, so he can't put bad and scary memories into his family and friends can't he? I've read several poems from different time periods. The earliest being in the 16th century with The Speech before Agincourt by William Shakespeare, and the oldest being Disabled by Wilfred Owen in 1917. the other poems I looked at was: some by men who have or haven't had first hand experience, some by women who were explaining the impact of those who didn't fight, some by people who thought war was Great and worthwhile and glorious, some by those who thought war was bad and preferred and alternative. I think that the most horrific poem was Disabled by Wilfred Owen, because it contains some gory and gruesome language and irony ("smiling they wrote his lie") the poem I have been most affected by was Perhaps by Vera Brittain, because she uses very sad language ("although you are not there") she says this because the language is very moving and makes us feel sympathetic for her ?? ?? ?? ?? Ben Elliott 11x1 01/04/2011 1

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