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
naÃ¯ve 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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