Personification of War in "Do Not Weep, Maiden, for War is Kind"

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The personification of war in the poem “Do Not Weep, Maiden, for War Is Kind” by Stephen Crane is a major contributor to the elaborate depiction of the negative impacts that come with warfare. The inside speaker of the lyric poem states how soldiers are used to kill other soldiers and their exponentially numerous deaths unarguably affect their lovers, children and families. The complex and recognizable structure of this poem contributes to its meaning by directly affecting the tone. Furthermore, the use of verbal devices and vivid imagery help communicate the theme and verbalize the tragedy that war is. Initially, as one sees the form of the poem, the structure seem simple with five stanzas and an indentation in stanzas two and four; but as one closely analyzes it, it can be noted that there is an intricate pattern. For instance, stanzas 1 and 3 have five lines each also known as cinquains, while stanza two and four are sestets. In addition, stanzas one and three have the same amount of syllables within their corresponding lines and stanza two and four follow the same rule. The way that the poem is organized makes the tone both melancholy and systematic as if the speaker were a sergeant giving orders to the soldiers or in this case to the maidens, the children and mothers. Another reason why the tone sounds both depressing and formal is because of the regular use of caesuras, specifically at the end of the stanzas where it demands of the family, “Do not weep” (line 4). Since this phrase is repeated four times in the poem it has a strong impact on the tone, given that the phrase is so short and sharp. Moreover, the indented second and fourth stanza are significant because it is in these, that the poetic voice repeats the theme ve... ... middle of paper ... ...hoice makes the different kinds of imagery seem veri similitude and are therefore more dramatic. In short, the persona in the poem uses irony to speak of warfare as being kind. In effect, the reader can see that when there is war people, specifically men, are forced to “slaughter” each other just how one would slaughter an animal. The voice of the poem emphasizes that war does not only dehumanize men, but that their family members are indefinitely traumatized by their gruesome death. In turn, the death of these men is depicted through kinesthetic, auditory and gustratory images that together along with the use of alliteration and anaphora’s function in relation with the whole poem and its theme. All of these particular parts contribute to the message the persona explains; warfare affects the soldiers and their families alike and the results aren’t virtuous.

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