Compare and Contrast Rupert Brooke's The Solider with Wilfred Owen's Dulce

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Compare and Contrast Rupert Brooke's The Solider with Wilfred Owen's Dulce

et Decorum Est.

Although 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke and 'Dulce et Decorum Est' by

Wilfred Owen are concerned with the common theme of war, the two poems

contrast two very different views of war. 'The Soldier' gives a very

positive view of war, whereas Owen's portrayal is negative to the


Rupert Brooke's 'The Soldier' is very patriotic as Brooke loves his

country and is ready to die for it. This perhaps is not surprising as

it was written in the first few months of war when the whole country

was swept by a tide of patriotic fervour. Rather ironically for a war

poem 'The Soldier' is a peaceful poem, as it doesn't describe the

blood and death of war like 'Dulce et Decorum Est.'. Brooke's love for

his country, however, is somewhat jingoistic and his view of England

is rather sentimental. There are many examples of his love for his

country, one of which is 'A body of England's, breathing English air.'

Brooke also thinks that his country is superior to any other land: 'a

richer dust concealed '. To an outsider this is a rather conceited

view; thinking that an Englishman's rotting corpse would act as some

superior fertilizer. But to his patriotic readers, this only

intensified his main arguing point; his conviction that England is

worth dying for.

Brooke's purpose for writing such a one-sided poem was to give a

morale booster to his audience and to demonstrate his deep love for

his country. The poem is very powerful and no doubt had a very

positive effect on these reluctant to join the army. The poem

effectively demonstrates that this is a cause and country undoubtedly

worth fighting for.

Brooke's belief that God is...

... middle of paper ...

...some of the best

anti-war poetry ever written.

Looking back over time, we can easily be critical of Brooke's rather

naïve view of war. But to be fair, he could not know what the next

three years of war would bring and was only reflecting the patriotic

mood of the early months of war. His view is much influenced by the

Victorian poets, such as Tennyson, whose 'Charge of the Light Brigade'

saw war as romantic and glorious with valiant cavalrymen charging the

enemy on horses. But the First World War was to change all that. This

was a twentieth century war with aeroplanes, machine-guns, tanks and

gas, which Owen witnessed at first-hand and through his pen, changed

not only war poetry, but how future generations have thought about war

and the horrors it brings:

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face.

His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin.
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