• 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)

    Towards the end of the poem, Brooke also says 'And laughter, learn of friends and gentleness'. Obviously, England does not laugh nor is it gentle. However, the poet used this expression to glorify his land and to show what an hour it is to die for such a country.

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

    "Dulce et Decorum Est" expresses feelings of anger and bitterness. "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, "Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we curses through sludge" The first two lines are a bitter, scathing attack at the thoughts of the people in Britain who had been taken in by the propaganda machine.

  1. Anthem for Doomed Youth - Analysis

    such as the words gently and whispering which reinforce the calm and hopeful atmosphere that dominates these lines. Always it woke him, even in France, Until this morning and this snow. These two lines quickly change the atmosphere. The presence of snow shows that it's suddenly winter, in cold contrast

  2. MY ANALYSIS OF ANTHEM FOR DOOMED YOUTH

    It creates a very piercing sound and is a harsh word. The word 'demented' is used to describe the shells. This conjures up the image that the shells are going crazy. It could also imply that the sound the shells made was frightening to hear.

  1. Anthem For Doomed Youth Essay

    The adjectives used in the first stanza are very dark and depressing, for example "monstrous", which give the first stanza overall a very depressing feel. As well as the anger shown, the first stanza contains many allusions that Owen is not happy with the attitudes of the public towards soldiers, despite appearing to think little of them himself at first.

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

    It is used to show that these men who are 'cannon fodder' are worthless and are bred to die, like cattle. It is an effective metaphor and enforces the fact that these men are insignificant, their lives unimportant and they meaninglessly died for their country.

  1. Wilfred Owen - "The old Lie"

    are portrayed using many different poetic techniques. The comparison of death on the battlefield and a Victorian funeral are composed through metaphors In the first stanza of this poem, imagery as well as sound are used to great effect in painting a picture of death on the battlefield An example of this would be, "The shrill, demented

  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