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

In what ways do poets portray the exprience of war in 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and in 'For the Fallen'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

COMPARE IN WHAT WAYS TO THE POETS PORTRAY THE EXPERIENCE OF WAR IN 'DULCE ET DECORUM EST' AND 'FOR THE FALLEN'. Laurence Binyon wrote ' For the Fallen' in 1914, at the beginning of the Great War, while Wilfred Owen composed his ' Dulce et Decorum Est' in 1917-18, by the end of the conflict. This difference in time means that there might be inconsistencies in the portrayal of the war, due to the changing perspectives of the fighting, which in turn would provoke irregularities in the purpose, style and nature of the two poems. In 'Dulce et Decorum Est', Owen tries to prove us that war has no mighty purpose behind it and that it is just a waste of lives. He describes one soldier dying with verbs such as 'guttering, choking, drowning' and gives an account of the blood which came 'gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs'. This strikingly visceral portrayal of loss of life suggests that he sees nothing spiritual or divine in the sacrifices that the soldiers make for their country. He prefers to depict the experience of the war as true and cruel as it is in reality without sparing the reader. In the poem we are informed about two deaths. ...read more.

Middle

The soldier who experienced the later, plunges at the nearest men choking and drowning - an image of a helpless, suffering person. Unlike the soldiers in Owen's poem, in 'For the Fallen', the fighters 'fell with their faces to the foe', - not to their companions - in the middle of the battle, fearless and brave. The determination which they seem to possess suggests that they believe that their deaths have a higher purpose. This encourages the reader and the mourning families to have faith that their loved ones' lives weren't wasted, but contrarily represented a salvage for humanity. It seems that the greatest difference between the two poems lies in the way they portray death and their significance. In 'Dulce et Decorum Est' the dying soldier's face is 'like a devil's sick of sin' with 'writhing eyes'. The phrase implies that the soldiers committed the greatest sins, most probably killing, which this altered the way they viewed life forever. They seem to be 'sick' not only of the war, but of the persons in which the war transformed them, into devils. The 'writhing eyes' suggests the violent ending that they had, and it possibly implies that they never found peace. ...read more.

Conclusion

Owen, who wrote the poem by the end of the conflict, seems to be well informed about the direct experience of the war and at the same time he is aware of the patriotic and idyllic accounts that existed at the beginning of the fighting. This explains the angry, visceral and meaningless deaths which he depicts in his poem, almost as if he was angry about people lying and making war seem a worthy, purposeful thing. And indeed, his poem ends with a call to other people not to 'tell with such high zest/To children ardent for some glory, / the old Lie: Dulce et decorum est/ Pro patria mori (It is sweet, and honourable to die for one's country). Owen wrote as an answer to other poems such as Binyon's which glorify the experience of war, and this is why he chose the title 'Dulce et decorum est', to arise the memory of the patriotic accounts from the beginning of the war, and then throughout his poem to shatter 'the old Lie'. He personifies this lie with the capital letter, making it seem as a destructive, evil person. This is the reason why Owen sticks to visceral descriptions - he prefers not to spare the reader, because he believes that the Lie is even crueller than the merciless reality of the war. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages 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 International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. "Habit is a great deadener". In what ways does Waiting for Godot illustrate this ...

    Even though Estragon is physically there, Vladimir has no one to talk to anymore and this agitates him. They need each other even if they don't always get along in order to confirm each other's existence. At the slightest threat of being left alone, they panic and therefore stay together as a matter of necessity.

  2. Ducle et Decorum Est

    It gives the poem a loose sort of structure as it goes along, which helps the message that Owen is trying to portray; that of his distaste towards war. It is also written in a strict AB rhyme scheme, which also helps with the structure of the poem.

  1. Comments on Emily Dickinson Poems

    Bees and flowers are perhaps things that remind you of childhood, purity, nature, calmness and etc- very rarely will such an image be used in more serious "grown-up" matters or things innapropriate for children to discuss- it's like the author is attempting to remain "decent" in her writing and hence is sugar-coating the action.

  2. L'etranger chapitre 2 et 3

    de nature humain? * Cette phrase exprime le th�me de l'existentialisme : vivre dans la pr�sence. C'est in�vitable; on � tous mourir. " Dans la chambre du vieux Salamano, le chien a g�mi sourdement. " (57) * il ressemble la peine d'un vieil �ge comme �a de son maitre.

  1. Dulce Et Decorum Vs The Soldier

    The poet of "Dulce et Decorum Est" also uses many effective similes and metaphors so that the reader gets a detailed image of the scene that Owen is creating. At one point in the poem Owen describes the soldier as a devil sick of sin.

  2. What is Wilfred Owen trying to express in his war poetry?

    Identically, these scenes depict blood on the hands on those who have sinned, thus insinuating on the guilt born from their ill deeds. Therefore Owen gains ground from Shakespeare's poems to convey the idea of guilt from blood where soldiers 'wade' in a sea of guilt.

  1. Owen's war poetry

    his broken teeth" reappears (The Sentry); there is purely no way out because even the sounds of nature brings back such distressing memory. The description of hostility in nature is also used to further accentuate the enormous psychological suffering of the soldiers.

  2. Articles of VN War

    V� t�i se l�n ti�ng mot c�ch thang thang, v� nhung su viec, th�ng tin, du kien m� ch�ng t�i c� duoc v� duong su trong b�i vi�t n�y. Hy vong, se cung c�p cho lich su, v� cho nhung ai quan t�m d�n v�n d� TCS, cung nhu c�c

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