• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Revision Notes - Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Woodfarm High School English Department Intermediate 2 English Revision Notes Critical Essay: Poetry ?Anthem for Doomed Youth? by Wilfred Owen Context: WW1 1914-18 Wilfred Owen was a soldier in the First World War. He was against war and was appalled by the horror of war. Form: A sonnet ? a 14 line formal poem. ?Anthem for Doomed Youth? has two sections, each beginning with a question that the remainder of the section answers. It has a strict pattern of rhythm and rhyme. There is an octet (8 lines) and a sestet (6 lines). The octet is dominated by the sound of battle. The sestet is characterised by muted grief. Linking these two sections is the sound of the bugle. Throughout the poem, Owen draws the comparison of traditional/religious/funeral rituals and ceremonies with the actuality of death for a soldier on the battlefield. The table below gives a brief outline of these comparisons. Traditional Funeral / Religious Ceremonies Death on the Battlefield ?Anthem? ?Doomed Youth? Church bells announcing death Gunfire Prayers for the deceased Rifle fire Choirs singing hymns ?demented choirs of wailing shells? Candles held by alter boys Light reflected in dead soldiers? eyes Velvet cloth to cover coffin The pale, mourning faces of young girls Flowers Kind, mourning thoughts of loved ones Drawing down of blinds out of respect and mourning. Each slow dusk falling on the battlefield Owen draws these comparisons to highlight two main themes: 1. The horror of war and the terrible conditions facing the soldiers, even after they have died. ...read more.

Middle

Line 5 ? 7 ?No mockeries now for them; no prayers or bells: Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs- The shrill demented choirs of wailing shells:? ?Mockeries? ? ceremonies which would be insults to them and what they have sacrificed. ?Prayers?/?bells? ? traditional funeral rites. ?No?, ?no?, ?nor? ? repetition emphasises what they do not have. ??Save ? except ? he goes on to describe what they do get in place of a funeral ?Shrill? ? high pitched ? piercing. Connotations - uncomfortable to hear, unpleasant ?Demented? ? crazy ? sounds mad. ?Choirs? ? group who sing in harmony, having rehearsed together. Harmony is usually pleasant ? in a choir they plan and work together. ?Wailing? ? in pain, crying, sorrow, lamenting ? onomatopoeia. The word ?wailing? imitates the sound of the shell as it travels. It is an appropriate description, given the death all around. ?Shells? ? explosive projectiles from a cannon. Commentary-. In the battlefield, the overall impression would be harsh and discordant, making the listeners wince. This is why the choirs are described as ?shrill? and ?demented? ? it is a mad and horrific cacophony of sound. Just as the bullets pray, the shells grieve in their ?wailing?. This develops the idea of the noise of battle from the opening lines. The guns and shells build up together to create for us the atmosphere of the battle ? a disorienting mix of sounds that are the tragic reality for the soldiers at the moment of their deaths. ...read more.

Conclusion

?blinds? - People draw down the blinds at night as a preparation for sleep. Also the blinds would have been drawn in a room a dead person had been laid. ?Dusk?: partial darkness, evening time Commentary ? This is the last of these comparisons ? ?candles?, ?pall?, ?flowers? ? and the last usual funeral custom is the ?drawing down of blinds?. Traditionally the blinds are drawn when someone dies. It is a sign to the world and a mark of respect for them. Instead of blinds being drawn around a dead person, the soldiers lying dead on the battlefield would simply have the day draw to a close. ?Dusk? would come naturally, darkening the place where they lay. Summary ?Anthem for Doomed Youth? was written by a soldier, Wilfred Owen, who died in the last week of the Great War. His poem clearly communicates the sorrow and horror he experienced during that war. In the poem, the noise of battle gives way to silent grief. Young men who should have lived died in the chaos of battle. Those who lost loved ones were not present at the deaths or burials of their young men. In place of the usual funeral rites, sounds of battle, distant grief and nature?s close of day were what they had to mark their deaths. Throughout the poem, Owen employed imagery to bring to life the sorrow and horror of war ? by describing the sounds and sights, by comparing a fitting funeral to the reality of death in war and by questioning the sufficiency of religion to provide solace in the face of such brutality. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Wilfred Owen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Wilfred Owen essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Write about the similarities and differences in style and content in Rupert Brooke's 'The ...

    3 star(s)

    Both poets make good use of personification, Brooke's personification of England is to glorify it while Owen' personification or animalisation of soldiers as cattle is somewhat degrading. Apparently, this brings us back to the whole point of the poem- Brooke glorifies war while Owen degrades it.

  2. Through His Poetry Wilfred Owen Wished to Convey, to the General Public, the Pity ...

    The last two stanzas of this poem are written in a much looser sonnet form. The focus at the beginning of this poem is on a group of men marching back from the front. The focus changes onto one man who cannot get his gas helmet on in time.

  1. Wilfred Owen - "The old Lie"

    the soldier drowning contributes to the vivid imagery Owen uses to paint images in your mind. The imagery in this poem is of a very different tone and nature compared to the imagery in the poetry of Rupert Brooke and Alfred Tennyson.

  2. MY ANALYSIS OF ANTHEM FOR DOOMED YOUTH

    'Stuttering' is an onomatopoei. Alliteration is used on the 'r' sounds to emphasise the sounds of destruction that were occurring. 'No mockeries...no prayers nor bells...nor choirs,' is the start of the fith line and tells the horrible way in which the soldiers leave the world and that instead of having a decent funeral these

  1. Anthem For Doomed Youth Essay

    As well as this, it again groups all the soldiers together, rather than acknowledging them as individual people. Again, this could easily imply that Owen is trying to make a point about something, as it is a recurring theme throughout the poem, as if he wants the idea to remain in the reader's mind.

  2. Trace the history of 'the old lie with particular reference to the poetry of ...

    This excessive patriotism as well as "If I should die" suggests Brooke was prepared to die for his country. Another way in which Brooke expresses his love for England is that 'The Soldier' is in the form of a love sonnet.

  1. Anthem for Doomed Youth - Analysis

    WHat real funeral will our boys have? No passing beels for the dead - only rifle and machine gun fire. No mourning voice - except for "choirs of wailing shells and bugles calling." The sestet continues this substitution, with the glimmer of tears in eyes funeral candles, and the funeral pall the colouyr of their loved one's foreheads.

  2. The poem Anthem for doomed youth by Wilfred Owen is based on the massacre ...

    The first line of the stanza itself is a rhetorical question, where Owen questions the death of soldiers. The death of the soldiers is metaphorically compared to that of ?cattle?, which shows that how the cattle is slaughtered in the same way huge numbers of soldiers are made to fight in battles and sacrifice their lives.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work