Anthem For Doomed Youth Theme Essay

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There are many similar themes that pervade both Wilfred Owen’s Anthem, for Doomed Youth, and George Herbert’s Prayer, such as war, and prayer. Strong emotions regarding both of those themes are conveyed through the juxtaposition of imagery, the personification of weaponry, and the use of metaphor to explain the conceptual. Language is also a critical element in both sonnets, shown through the use of alliteration in Anthem, and flowing lyricism in Prayer, demonstrating it is approached in strikingly different ways to achieve the desired effect. The prominence of religion and religious symbolism is an important factor of both poems, which reflects the importance of religion in matters such as war, and more obviously, prayer. Owen’s Anthem, for Doomed Youth approaches this concept of religion and its symbolism from, what would initially appear to be, an incredulous angle. Within the context of war, the…show more content…
Owen creates atmosphere with his use of alliteration when describing the ‘stuttering rifles' rapid rattle’, which draws its effect from the alliteration of the repeated alveolar approximant, and the assonance of the words ‘rapid’ and ‘rattle’, culminating in the onomatopoeic sound of a rifle firing. Contrastingly, instead of recreating the jolting, feared sound of a rifle, Herbert creates a peaceful melody of words when describing prayer as ‘Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss’. The lexes used denote positivity, and the absence of plosive consonants in the words creates the softness described as they are spoken, therefore conveying the extent to which prayers exhibits the traits he lists. Despite the positive connotations in the poem there is an aggression in the short attacking lines, and the presentation of all fourteen lines as a single, condensed sentence conveys
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