Comparing and Contrasting the Portrayal and Warfare in Poetry
A Comparattive Essay
Choose two poets that we have studied so far. Compare and contrast the
portrayal of warfare in four of the poems studied.
This essay will compare and contrast the portrayal and warfare in four
of the poems studied.
The first world war was portrayed as a glorious and credible cause,
fighting war for your country was deemed as the duty of any credible
man. Being able to represent your country on the battlefield was the
greatest honour a man could have. Men were engulfed with the idea of
being able to fight for their countries futures. Women would have to
do everything they could to stop their husbands and sons from risking
their lives by signing up for the war. At this time poetry was written
to encourage men to go and fight, poets like jessie pope who wrote war
poetry enforced this view.
JESSIE POPE WILFRED OWEN
WHO’S FOR THE DULCE ET DECORUM EST.
THE CALL DISABLED
These poems were written about (and at the same time as), World War I,
between 1914 to 1918. In these barbaric four years->killing spree 7
million men and leaving 17 million men injured, (physically-the war
tactics resorted to the tortures of gas attacks, gun-shot wound, shell
shock, starvation and exposure, to name a few...), the rest were
scarred by memories never fading. World war one devastated lives and
souls, time and space. But citizens back home had no way of knowing
what war was capable of, without television or radio to communicate to
them, they were only left to imagine the true horrors men were
enduring. If people had reailsed the true extent and the horrors of
what was actually happening, morale would have been severely
detrimentally affected. These poems were created by the thoughts and
feelings expressed by soldiers at battle.
Propaganda was partially to blame for the young lives that were stolen
by the war, because it encouraged men to actively volunteer for the
dream of taking the empire to victory and in return recieve the pride
of serving their country. Propaganda was engineered to give citizens a
false impression/ illusion of positivity about the events that were
truely making history horrifically, and consistently sent a message of
fortitude and unity to the enemy. Men were driven by promised finicial
gain, status and the chance to travel, but under such pointless pain,
suffering and horror that awaited them, ready to engulf them all in
battle, in such conditions as; 48 hours bomboardment, being surrounded
by dead bodies, acheing (mentally, physically and emotionally), foul
infestation, and living in fear and horror was not worth the cost of a
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Portrayal of War in the Pre 1900 Poetry Before 1900, war was always seen as a glorious thing. People truly believed in the words of the ancient writer Horace, "Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori. " This phrase can be translated, as "It is a lovely and honourable thing; to die for one's country". Pre 1900 war poetry was strongly patriotic and glossed over the grim reality of death, preferring instead to display the heroic aspects of fighting. If death was mentioned, it was only in a noble and glorious context.
...ntation in 20th century war poetry undoubtedly shapes its type and purpose, be it for nationalistic propaganda or to prompt a global paradigm shift, the purpose can be seen to stem largely from the author’s involvement in combat or war life. Authors such as Owen Seaman, who have no first hand experience of the content of their poems, create patriotic propaganda in an attempt to keep young men enlisting, and others such as Rupert Brooke who exemplify blind optimism and nationalistic intentions in a romanticised view of what it would be to die.
are not free in service, you do what you are told and this is the same
Although war is often seen as a waste of many lives, poets frequently focus on its effect on individuals. Choose two poems of this kind and show how the poets used individual situations to illustrate the impact of war.
A poem which I have recently read is: “Dulce Et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen. The main point Wilfred Owen tries to convey in this poem is the sheer horror of war. Owen uses many techniques to show his feelings, some of which I’ll be exploring.
‘Poetry can challenge the reader to think about the world in new ways.’ It provokes the readers to consider events, issues and people with revised understanding and perspectives. The poems Dulce Et Decorum Est (Wilfred Owen, 1917) and Suicide in the Trenches (Siegfried Sassoon, 1917), were composed during World War One and represented the poets’ point of views in regards to the glorification of war and encouraged readers to challenge their perspectives and reflect upon the real consequences behind the fabrications of the glory and pride of fighting for one’s nation.
It is evident that the socio-cultural context in which Wilfred Owen operated had a powerful impact upon his poetic motivation and the messages he conveyed through his work. Before exploring Wilfred Owen’s work we first must understand the society that Wilfred Owen lived in, to be able to really understand appreciate his poems and their impact on society. At the time in which he operated, Britain’s public opinion on warfare and conflicts were astonishingly positive, especially in the early stages of WW1. These false perception on war led the vast majority of male citizens to perceive war recruitment as an opportunity to set off on ‘terrific adventures’ and earn immense amounts of honour for their families and nation. Government propaganda meant that soldiers believed that they were gathering fame and fortune in the name of Great Britain. This cruel and false perception of warfare which in turn led to a steady rate of volunteers for the war and included Wilfred Owen himself. The men who did not go and fight for their nations were perceived by society as cowards as
The next line expresses the way in which he has no grave stone, just a
The writers of 'Joining the Colours' and 'The Send Off' both use poetry to express their feelings about soldiers leaving for war. Each have similar attitudes about the subject, but use different approaches to try and get their message across. Both question the popular concept of war, including ideas such as heroism and glory. Katherine Hinkson, the poet who wrote 'Joining the Colours', shows the scene from two different perspectives, that of the audience watching the soldiers and also her own point of view. Wilfred Owen simply shares his thoughts by describing the soldiers leaving from a station, although the effect is no less powerful. As Hinkson is a woman, she focuses more on a mother or wives point of view, whereas Owen gives more of the soldiers perspective.
I am going to compare the two poems “Dulce et decorum est” by Wilfred Owen and “Channel Firing” by Thomas Hardy. The poem by Hardy talks about the great German guns “Big Berthas” which fired across the channel at the nearest coastal villages, and how the noise of these guns is so terrific that it wakes the dead in their graves. “Dulce et decorum est” is a poem about a group of tired, worn out soldiers who are making their way back from the front line. They come under a gas attack and Owen describes to us the scene which is presented to him of a fellow soldier and companion “drowning” in his own mucus. Both poems portray a sense of helplessness to this exposure to the war!
How Wilfred Owen Uses Language and Imagery in His Poetry to Communicate his Attitudes of War
The two poems, 'Dulce et decorum est' and 'Who's for the game?' are both very different war poems. Although they were both written about the First World War, they both had different purposes. The poems have aspects in which they are similar, but they also have very big differences.
Owen’s poem uses symbolism to bring home the harsh reality of war the speaker has experienced and forces the reader to think about the reality presented in romanticized poetry that treats war gently. He utilizes language that imparts the speakers experiences, as well as what he, his companions, and the dying man feels. People really die and suffer and live through nightmares during a war; Owen forcefully demonstrates this in “Dulce et Decorum Est”. He examines the horrific quality of World War I and transports the reader into the intense imagery of the emotion and experience of the speaker.
... Instead of idealizing war in a romantic way, war poets such as Wilfred Owen aimed to expose gruesome truths about these wars and how they impacted lives. It points a finger and criticizes the governments and authorities that wage these wars but don’t fight in them themselves but rather watch as lives are lost. It exposes propaganda for what it is, a tool for brainwashing. It puts into question the notion of dying for ones country to be noble, honourable and admirable.
The poetic techniques used in Wilfred Owen’s war poetry sweep the reader from the surface of knowing to the essence of truly appreciating his ideas. Through sonnets, Para rhymes, ironic titles, voices and strong imagery, not only is the reader able to comprehend to the futility and the horrors of the Great War, but also they can almost physically and mentally empathise with those who fought. Through the three poems examined, it is evident that Owen goes to great effort to describe the conditions and thoughts of the First World War, thus his works are considered an invaluable asset to the modern literature.