Using Homer's "Iliad" and Owens "Dulce et Decorum est" or Sassoon's "suicide in the trenches" write a comparison on the ways in which the writers describe the death of a soldier.

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Using Homer’s “Iliad” and Owens “Dulce et Decorum est” or Sassoon’s “suicide in the trenches” write a comparison on the ways in which the writers describe the death of a soldier.

Say how far you agree with the view that Homer focuses on the nobility of sacrifice whilst Owen/Sassoon deals with the stark reality.  

Both Homer and Owen, in their poems present arguments about the death of a soldier. However in Homers poem it appears he is engaging the writer with a much more emotional approach than that of Owens. He presents the soldiers as “great fighters” and “brave souls”. In contrast, we see in Owens poem, a typical effect of war, and the realisation of death. With seeing so many men die each day, soldiers often became immune to deaths and unable to express any emotion of them. While Homer clearly feels for the deaths of the men in his poem, Owen, who unlike Homer was fighting in the war, has built up an immunity toward feeling the emotion of it, and instead presents death in a much more realistic way.

The title of Homers poem “Iliad” jumps straight into the main theme of it, rage of Achilles. The word Iliad means rage, which throughout the language is repeated a further two times “sing the rage”. This title, and the bitter tone when describing the deaths, reflects Homers anti war attitude toward the war, which is happening thousands of years before Christ. Owen however, presents a contrasting title to that of Homer, while Homer was expressing the main theme of his poem, Owen prefers to use irony to reflect his feelings of the war. “Dulce et Decorum est” translated means “it is sweet and right to die for your country”. This is irony because; Owen felt the war was slaughter. Another contrast is the reasons behind the writing of these two poems. Owen was writing in response to Jessie Pope’s pro war poetry “who’s for the game” which was encouraging men to sign up for the war, and treating it as a simple sports game. Owen at the time found Pope’s views on the war disgusting and wrote “Dulce et Decorum est” in response to her. In contrast, Homer was writing his poem as an epic, telling the war as a story. This presents the war in a more noble and exciting way, instead of showing war to be realistic. The reasons behind Owen writing his poem are far more realistic as he is trying to prove to people that Jessie Pope and other propaganda writers do not know the true realisation of war. Society at the time of 1917, when Owen wrote the poem, was beginning to see the true horrors of war.

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In Homers poem the descriptions of death are told in a very emotive way “hurling down into the house of death so many sturdy souls”. Homer feels that the loss of these men was a great loss indeed, and speaks of them as if they are heroes and a true sacrifice of youth “loss on bitter loss and crowded brave souls”. The repetition of “loss” emphasises the fact that Homer feels that the death of the soldiers was a great sacrifice. Homer also uses alliteration in order to express this feeling of loss too “countless losses”. The sibilant “S” ...

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