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GCSE: Wilfred Owen
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The pace then quickens during the final stanza (a rhythm achieved by the use of lines with fewer syllables and run-on endings), so that it contrasts with Owen's poignant conclusion given in the last four lines, drawing our attention to this particular point, the whole meaning of the poem as far as the poet is concerned. "If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Bitter as the cud." In contrast, the second of Owen's poems, 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', can be easily distinguished from many of his other works, as it is, infact, a sonnet.
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Write about the similarities and differences in style and content in Rupert Brooke's 'The Soldier' andWilfred Owen's 'Anthem For Doomed Youth'3 star(s)
y By Anthem For Doomed Youth- Wilfred Owen What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? - Only the monstruous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, - The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; And bugles calling for them from sad shires. What candles may be held to speed them all? Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall; Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
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In early 1856 Sevastopol fell and the war ended. Around 2000 men had died out of roughly 250,000 men who were called to the fight. Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was a poet writing in the Crimean War. He also attempted to write drama's or plays but had no real success. Tennyson was the fourth child out of eleven, his father, George Clayton Tennyson who was a rector and a vicar and maybe his religious background influenced the way he composes metaphors and similes in his work by referring to religious places and beings.
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As he turned to the window, he could hear noises; noises which brought him back to that night at the bar, which he could not remember the name of, after the cup final in football. It was a crisp summer's evening, and there were 2 minutes left in the football game, where Brian's team, Cambridge Amateur AFC, were playing their close rivals, the Oxford Men's Amateurs. Cambridge had a free kick, 20 yards away from the goal, and Brian, a "tough-as-bones" central midfielder, was getting ready to take this free kick.
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By doing this, he makes it very personal for the reader. The face of a human is what shows their emotions, and what shows identity. In the poem The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Tennyson, which describes the charge of British cavalry against Russian soldiers, the whole six hundred British were slaughtered, yet not once does Tennyson pick out one soldier, or individualises this. This is what Owen does in "Dulce et Decorum est": he individualises the soldier who has died. Another feature of this last verse is that it shows people that the war they thought would be glorious and noble is not at all that.
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However, when the word "Anthem" is combined with "Doomed Youth" makes it seem slightly sarcastic - as if Owen is almost mocking the idea of honour itself. The strong statement in the title is continued by Owen into the opening stanza of the poem - in the first line, the soldiers are called "cattle". Straightaway, this word tells the reader than Owen is angry at something, as "cattle" is a strong and harsh word to use to describe soldiers fighting for the country.
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He closed his eyes and tried to remember how there was once an artist so eager to capture his face. During those leisurely games of football, he caught a glimpse of the many girls gazing at him with their adoring eyes. Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori - It is sweet and right to die for your country 2 A man in the opposite bed had never spoken a word to Adam. He would always sit up, fidgeting madly with the bedcovers and muttering to himself.
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In August 1918 Owen was declared fit to return to the Western Front. He fought at Fonsomme, where he was awarded the Military Cross. Wilfred Owen was killed by machine-gun fire while leading his men across the Sambre Canal on 4th November, 1918. A week later the Armistice was signed. Only five of Owen's poems were published while he was alive. After Owen's death his friend, Siegfried Sassoon, arranged for the publication of his Collected Poems (1920). The two poems by Owen I have chosen to compare are Anthem for Doomed Youth and Dulce et Decorum Est.
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Choose at least three poems by Wilfred Owen that look at different aspects of war. Compare how he deals with each aspect and consider what his overall opinion might be.
The poem 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', is a long comparison between the elaborate ceremonial of a Victorian-style funeral, and the way in which men go to their death on the western front. The poem is written in the form of a sonnet, and has a very traditional format. Owen wrote in this way mostly due to the influence of the poet Siegfried Sassoon, whose experience and high education helped him greatly during this period. The poem is made up of fourteen lines, and follows the rhyme scheme abab, cdcd, effe, gg.
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The second line continues this them as it compares the soldiers to hags, which are very like beggars. It tells you that the soldiers are knock kneeded and coughing, which implies a very low morale. In the second stanza, the poet has written about a gas attack that he has witnessed. This stanza tells us about the confusion and panic, which arises when the soldiers' lives are in immediate danger. The pace of this verse is a lot quicker in order to demonstrate this, and also provides a contrast to the previous verses as it is written in the present tense to make it seem more real, whereas the first verse is written in the perfect tense, which makes it seem more distant.
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The opening lines of the two poems are very effective because they produce either some sort of atmosphere and make the reader feel that they are actually there, or show the feelings for the soldiers who fought in the war. 'Dulce et Decorum Est' does this by using similes such as 'like old beggars under sacks' which capture the appearance of the soldiers as cripples and effective onomatopoeia such as 'sludge' and 'trudge', the sound made of soldiers going through mud.
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Choose two poems by Wilfred Owen. Write an essay exploring what you feel is effective and interesting about the way war is presented.
given in the last four lines, drawing our attention to this particular point, the whole meaning of the poem as far as the poet is concerned. "If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Bitter as the cud." In contrast, the second of Owen's poems, 'Anthem for Doomed Youth', can be easily distinguished from many of his other works, as it is, infact, a sonnet. Like all sonnets, this one has fourteen lines, divided up into two movements, with an initial, alternate line rhyme scheme used, changing to a more unusual sextet in the final movement.
- Word count: 2205
Choose two poems from your selection of First World War Poetry, which have made a deep impression on you and examine how the poet communicates to us his feelings.
Stanza two is very short, it is also very ironic. The words 'wreath and spray' are normally associated with funerals. The men have been given these wreaths, possibly suggesting that they are going to die, in reality they were given to them as good luck presents. Wilfred Owen has given us a different view of this topic, we can see it as if they have been given their last presents, a present of peace and security. In stanza three, even though there is a suggestion of death, the atmosphere is very unceremonious.
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She is addressed sarcastically in the last stanza as "My friend". The message of this poem is clear; if the people back home saw "in some smothering dream" this scene, they would not think it "sweet and honourable to die for your country". Owen's point is put across strongly in this poem by the sheer horror of the soldier's death, which is described in gory detail. The descriptions are generally brought to life with the texture of words and grizzly sensual imagery such as "cursed through sludge", "the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs" and "floundering like a man in fire or lime".
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The fact that their partner wouldn't stick by them was one reason but if they didn't join the whole society would look down on them with disgrace: they weren't men if they didn't fight for their country. "Dulce Et Decorum Est" speaks about the severe drowsiness of the soldiers on their way back from the front line and the sudden panic caused when the soldiers are hit unexpectedly with a gas attack. The poem begins with a simile, "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks".
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Owen states, ?The sentry?s body; then his rifle.? Again, he is conveying the dismay and incredulity of what he is witnessing. He also writes in the present continuous tense at both times in the poem, implying that the sufferings of these soldiers are resulting in recurring nightmares. Moreover, Owen goes on to use sibilance again in Dulce: ?gas-shells dropping softly behind.? This gives the poem more depth to the imagery and instigates the reader to relive the gas attack with him.
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Another technique Owen uses is symbolism. He often gives words and objects deeper meanings; frequently making them symbolize something else. An example of this is ?dawn massing in the east her melancholy army?. While this is clearly referring to the weather and clouds, it could also mean the enemies preparing themselves for battle en masse, or that everything is against the soldiers, even nature and therefore God. Another example is that ?all their eyes were ice?. On the surface, this could mean cold temperatures, but if looked at in more depth it could symbolize inner mental turmoil.
- Word count: 2640