Comparing "The Soldier" and "Dulce Et Decorum Est" Essay

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Both “The Soldier” and “Dulce et Decorum Est” are poems written by soldiers in World War I about the war. “The Soldier” comes from the beginning of World War I in 1914, while “Dulce et Decorum Est” comes from the end of the war in 1917. “The Soldier” portrays death in the war as bittersweet, explaining that even if the narrator dies his burial place will always have the essence of England, his home country. In contrast, “Dulce et Decorum Est” portrays the war realistically, portraying the fear and raggedness of the soldiers when trying to survive in the trenches. Both poems have many common elements but are very different.

The narrator of “The Soldier” speaks of what he wishes for others to think about him if he dies. In the first paragraph, he says that a corner of a foreign field, implied to be his resting place, is forever England, his homeland. Although the poem is talking about the possibility of death from a war, the poem portrays that death as bringing the essence of the narrator’s homeland into the Earth along with his body. Because that is the focus of the poem, the word “England” or “English” is repeated six times throughout its fourteen lines. This shows that the narrator has a deep connection to his homeland, the land he his fighting for. He makes a point of saying that his life has been shaped by England, saying that the dust, or remains of his body, is “a dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware”. He is saying that even if he dies his body, a “body of England’s (line 7) will always be there in the foreign land where he dies.

In the second paragraph of “The Soldier”, the narrator reassures his audience of the peaceful life in heaven that he will lead after death. He portrays death as a sort of cleansing of evil in his heart: “…this heart, all evil shed away” (line 9) and a chance to go back to his homeland in his “English heaven”. He looks forward to enjoying “her sights and sounds…gentleness” (line 13). When the narrator says this he is...

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Comparing "The Soldier" and "Dulce Et Decorum Est". Anti Essays. Retrieved October 31, 2014, from the World Wide Web: http://www.antiessays.com/free-essays/Comparing-The-Soldier-And-Dulce-Et-352054.html