Comparison of Three First World War Poems

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Comparison of Three First World War Poems

The three poems that I will be studying in this essay are “Dulce Et

Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen, “Comrades: An Episode” by Robert Nichols

and “Who’s For The Game?” by Jessie Pope. These poems are about the

First World War and two of them seem to have a negative attitude

criticising and downgrading the so-called spectacular experience of

the First World War. In “Dulce Et Decorum Est” Wilfred Owen seems to

mention good aspects of the War but compares them to low-class tragic

events. In “Comrades: An Episode” Robert Nichols describes the event

of a soldier being badly injured and eventually dying. It describes

what the corporals and soldiers did and how they reacted to the

situation. However, Jessie Pope’s poem “Who’s For the Game?” talks

about war as if it is a joke and the scary aspect of the war is taken


In each poem a different picture emerges in one’s head. In “Dulce Et

Decorum Est” similes are used quite regularly to create dreamlike

settings and haunting images that provide a vivid picture of the

realities of warfare. To the general public soldiers were seen as

heroes but the first line of this poem ruins that image by describing

the soldiers as

“Bent double, like old beggars under sacks”.

This line creates a grim image of the soldiers portraying them to be

weak and helpless. Other similes are used to create a similar effect

in this poem. Another line, which relates to a soldier, is

“His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin”


Which shows how fed up and emotionally tired this particular soldier

must ...

... middle of paper ...

...motionally and most likely

physically scared. The war should be known for its true meaning and

not the fake outside look of it. The poem “Who’s for the game?” is has

the opposite view to these poems. War is described as a game, just a

bit of fun and that if all these lucky men who have the opportunity to

go, in fact don’t go, they will be missing out. There is also a bit of

guilt in this poem, it is at the end. By mentioning the trouble that

their country is in, it makes men who have not joined feel bad that

they have let their country down and be led to such a bad state. When

men thought this, they automatically thought that they have to help

and mend what has gone terribly wrong. I find all three poems

extremely interesting because of all the different approaches taken to

get their point across and their ideas heard.