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“Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen and “The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke Essay Sample

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“Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen and “The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke Essay Sample

“Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen and “The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke are two poems about war. The two poets have different attitudes to war. They use similar and different techniques and ideas to convey there attitudes to war.

The pace of “Dulce Decorum Est” is similar in some ways to “The Soldier” but is also very different in others. The pace of “The Soldier” the pace is consistently slow and gentle. Rupert Brooke uses punctuation and calm language to make this slow and consistent pace. For example, “A dust whom England bore, shaped made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam.” Rupert Brooke has used many commas in this sentence to keep a slow pace. He uses very calm language for example “flowers” and “love.” This slow and gentle pace is used to convey a very positive attitude to war. In “Dulce Decorum Est” like “The Soldier” the pace begins slowly.

Then suddenly at the beginning of the second stanza the pace dramatically increases, and then the pace gradually slows down to the end. Wilfred Owen like Rupert Brooke uses punctuation and dramatic language to slow and speed up the pace. For example, “Gas! Gas! Quick boys!” Wilfred Owen used the exclamation mark to speed up the pace and also the word “Quick” speeds up the pace. Wilfred Owen uses pace to convey a negative attitude towards war. Having a slow or fast pace is important because it sets the rhythm and tone of the poem.

The tone of “Dulce et Decorum Est” and the tone of “The Soldier” are very different. The tone of “The Soldier” is very positive and patriotic which conveys a positive approach to war. Rupert Brooke conveys this positive and patriotic tone by using strong, dramatic language and an extended metaphor. The language he uses is very positive and reassuring. For example, “Flowers to love,” “Gentleness,” and “Heaven.” All these words are very positive which sends out a very encouraging message. Rupert Brooke uses an extended metaphor which lasts through nearly the whole poem. He describes England as being a mother. This is also an example of personification. For example, “A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware.” He says the dust* is made by England.

He has given England all the characteristics of a mother. “Dulce Decorum Est” has a negative and pessimistic tone which sends out a very negative outlook of war. Wilfred Owen like Rupert Brooke uses strong language but, it is negative. He also uses irony to convey this negative tone. For example, “trudge” which suggests struggle, “beggars” and “Hags” which suggests neglect. As you can you see he uses a lot of negative language. “The old lie: Dulce Decorum Est Pro patria mori.” This is Latin and it means: “It is sweet and honourable to die for one’s country.” This is irony because he says: “The old lie.” He is accusing people of people saying this to soldiers. As you can see both these poems have very different tones.

The language used in these poems is also very different. Rupert Brooke uses positive language whereas Wilfred Owen uses negative language. “The soldier” is about when a soldier dies in a foreign country that part of that country will forever be England. This is a very positive message, so positive language must be used to convey this message. For example in “The Soldier” the words: “richer,” “bore,” “flower,” “love,” “peace” and “heaven.” These words are all very positive, which Rupert Brooke has purposely used to convey his message in the poem. The meaning of “Dulce Decorum Est” is very different to “The Soldier.” “Dulce et Decorum Est” is about people saying that it is honourable to die for one’s country and how Wilfred Owen saying that it is not at all sweet or honourable to die for your country, making this a very negative message. So Wilfred Owen uses negative language to convey this message. For example, “beggars,” “hags,” “trudge,” “blood-shod,” “lame,” “deaf” and “drowning.” These words are all very negative which has also been used on purpose to convey his negative message.

Both poems use imagery. In “The Soldier” Rupert Brooke uses an extended metaphor to set a positive and dignified tone. For example, “A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam.” This metaphor (also personification) gives England mother-like characteristics, setting a positive image, which is used to convey a positive attitude towards England**. In “Dulce et Decorum Est” Wilfred Owen has written many different similes, all which convey a negative image, to present a negative image to war. For example, “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks.” This metaphor tells that people were so tired they were hunching as if they were beggars who were carrying sacks. This gives us a very negative image.

Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke use very similar techniques, but they convey complete opposite attitudes and tone. They use pace, imagery, language and structure. Wilfred Owen uses these techniques to convey a negative attitude towards war whereas Rupert Brooke uses these techniques to convey a positive attitude towards war.

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