The Soldier Poem Analysis

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When war was announced to the public, in 1914, young men across the country of England were eager to experience the exaltation associated with fighting for their beloved country. This devotion for their country is passionately echoed in the poem “The Soldier”, written by Rupert Brooke. As the battles continued, the true-colours of war unravelled for the soldiers, and the atmosphere portrayed in the war poetry changed drastically. This heinous exposure brought upon the soldiers was conveyed in the poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est”, written by Wilfred Owen. Owen wrote the poem during the time he spent in the trenches. His poem paints vivid pictures of the unfeigned illustration of war disguised within all the propaganda and the glorifying images presented…show more content…
In the first stanza he discusses the glorifying act and mentality behind dying in war. In the first line “if I should die, think only this of me” Brook diminishes the sorrow of death, and creates a chivalrous vision upon the death of a soldier. This view point is highlighted through the use of “only”, which eliminates the range for contravening emotions. Then, he continues to describe that after the death of a soldier, behind enemy lines, their legacy, and the cause they are fighting for, will continue to live in the soil below their lifeless bodies. This is expressed in line two, “some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England.” Within the first two lines, Brook already creates an uplifting and nationalistic tone, eliminating the hopelessness originally associated with death. Brook additionally uses punctuation to create short sentences, giving the poem a peaceful flow. For example, “gave, once, her flowers to love,”. The use of commas allows the reader to pause and consider the text tranquilly without the rush of a run-on sentence. Moreover, through the metaphor, “a dust whom England bore, shaped, made-aware” (line 4), Brook compares England to a mother bearing “dust” (a literary metaphor for the body of a soldier). Through this he highlights his willingness to die for England as he compares his love for England to the unfathomable love of a son towards…show more content…
In stanza one of his poem Owen uses similes to emphasize the exhausted state of the soldiers. He first compares the posture of the soldiers, “bent double” to “old beggars”, and then continues to compare their coughs to “old hags”; he continues to use diction and choice of vocabulary, “curse”, “sludge”, “haunting” and “trudge” to further emphasize the poor state of the soldiers. Through the use of diction and similes Owen creates a dark, deprived, and fatigued atmosphere, contradicting to the peaceful mood of Brooks poem. To continue, Owen uses an iambic pentameter throughout the poem, with line 16 breaking the pattern. This beat mimics the pace of marching soldiers, but the outfall of the pattern highlights their faintness, as they are unable to march with an even beat. This continues to oppose to Brook’s poem, where entering the war was portrayed as a noble action, instead Owen deprives any association of glory with war, replacing it with resentment and frustration. Additionally, Owen expresses the emotional scars brought upon soldiers returning from war through a metaphor, comparing the horrific memories of war to “incurable sores on innocent tongues”, preventing them from recalling these memories. This is emphasized again, through the use of the word “smothering”, referring to the suffocation and inability to escape the horrid
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