Compare two poems that look at different aspects of war and explain how each of them is effective

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Into Battle…does it matter?

Compare two poems that look at different aspects of war and explain how each of them is effective - (typed up timed essay)

Does it really matter that you go into battle?  According to Julian Grenfell it was a thing of virtue and patriotism.  In his poem entitled “Into Battle”, he talks of the glory and joy of tumbling over the ridge into the brazen frenzy.

Julian Grenfell highlights the emotions felt before going to World War One.  He galvanises the joys of war by euphemism.  His diction entices the reader into thinking that the only way to fully enjoy life was by following Destined Will.  He insisted that the true way to lead a human away from a stagnant and boring life was to go and fight for your country.  “Dulce et decorum est” – this quote from the title of another poem significantly portrays what Grenfell thought.  Although Wilfred Owen was contradicting the idea of grandeur in his poem, Grenfell believed that the struggle for survival was only a natural course to take.

The title Into Battle seems to suggest a jaunty and uplifting motion.  The idea of going ‘into battle’ was one to look forward to.  Grenfell starts off the poem by using Mother Nature to inspire young men.  He romanticises the notion of war by likening it to the growth and rebirth of the earth.  The strict rhyme and rhythm give a sense of security.  The balance insinuates that everything fits into place and a soldier has a purpose in life.  Reference to the naked earth, spring and bursting trees shows the imagery of the youth of the young soldiers.  Has increase – this portrays that the man is growing spiritually in commune with nature, and it adds a reassuring note to the poem.  This continuing parallel emphasises the link between man and earth.  He truly believed in ‘pro patria mori’ which means that it is right and proper to die for your country.

A soldier is depicted as a vivacious life force like the bursting trees.  The recurrent citation to the sun, warmth and gaze symbolises that everything to with war is idyllic.  The repetition of and suggests a long list of positive aspects.  It has a biblical resonance, with an authoritative stance; it is only a win-win situation.  It states a fact rather than proposing an argument, which also leads me to believe that the poem is used as a type of propaganda (printed in The Times in May 1915).

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The rhyming scheme adds a soft simple touch to the poem; every alternate line rhymes and it gives a feeling of calm.  The comfort is extended to the reader by assonance, where soft sounds are repeated again and again to add assurance – and take warmth, and life from the glowing earth.  The rhythm is very slow and elongated to make the reader emotive.  It ignites passionate feelings of warmth and birth, which are always mentioned.  There aren’t any cacophonous short sentences which stick out, but the sentences are made even longer by the use of and.  Longer sentences seem ...

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