poem comparison

Powerful Essays
Dulce et Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘The Soldier’ by Rupert Brooke are both poems commentating on the effects of war, yet both have two drastically different viewpoints. Both poems are examples of the authors’ perceptions of war; Owen’s being about its gruesome and harsh reality during his experience and Brooke’s about the glory of dying for one’s country. The poets express their sentimental emotions on the subject matter in terms of figurative language, tone, diction and imagery. The tone is exhibited through the use of unyielding and vivid imagery, primarily by the use of compelling metaphors and similes. Both poets swirl around the idea of death in the name of ones country, in this case England in the World War 1 era, but this example serves different purposes in the two poems. Owen uses a graphic example where he remorsefully describes the death caused by a gas attack, exposing to his readers that war is an ugly, brutal and detestable encounter. Yet Brooke uses a different approach, and expresses that not only is it every man’s duty to fight and die for his country to preserve perfection, but once dead, the ashes shall physically enrich the already ‘rich’ soil “In that rich earth, a richer dust concealed”. And all ‘English’ values that the motherland bore will live on in one form or another. This way Brooke tries to convince that there is a deeper meaning to what lies on the surface of war. Religious undertones also lie beneath each poem. Owen uses “Dulce et Decorum Est” to portray and war as the epitome of hell, juxtaposing the devil over the gassed man. In contrast, Brooke uses ‘The Soldier’ to convey ‘England’ rather like ‘heaven’, and that it is righteous to defend such land in war. In the poem "Dulce et Decorum Es... ... middle of paper ... ...inions about war, in fact, almost opposite opinions, each poet uses different types of diction, figurative language, imagery, sounds, and tones to achieve his purpose. There are also a multitude of differences between ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and ‘The Soldier’. While ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ conveys the ruthless reality of war and mocks the very act of patriotic death, Brooke uses ‘The Soldier’ to stress that it is undeniably an honor to die for ones country. To build on his tone, Owen uses harsher, more repulsive onomatopoeic words that give off ‘g’, ‘c’ (k) and a lot of hissing ‘s’ sounds, which continue to keep you on your toes-“ knock-kneed… sludge… trudge… guttering… choking… gargling”. But Brooke uses softer words, such that give off ‘f’ sounds. ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ has a bitter and cynical tone helped by changes in rhythm which travel back and forth.
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