The repetition of question marks and dashes illustrate the confusion and frustration witnessing Owens fellow comrades, it is a demanding tone begging for explanation for the entrapment of victims. And as a result, it encourages the reader to consider the impact the war had on both, the soldiers who survived, and those who didn’t. Dulce et Decorum Est brings to reality that war is not what people say it is. Given by its very title, ‘It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country’. Although, it only an illusion reinforced throughout the poem, along with its irony and sarcasm that is ‘The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori’, it is not sweet and fitting to die for ones country.
Dulce et Decorum Est Question: Choose a poem which explores a powerful emotion. Show how the poet has used techniques of poetry to make the power of the emotion clear to you. “Dulce et Decorum Est,” by Wilfred Owen is a poem which explores a powerful emotion. It is a bitter, angry, anti-war poem which clearly presents the horrors of war and gives a graphic account of life in the trenches in WW1. The poem also gives a horrific description of a soldier dying in a gas attack, while his comrades look on helplessly.
In contrast Tennyson’s Charge depicts a disastrous battle during the Crimean War and therefore shows the disbelief and horror of conflict. Tennyson uses the poem to show the admiration and bravery of the solders in their determination to obey orders even though the orders were foolish. Futility could be considered as an elegy for the unnamed solider and opens with a tender and sad tone shifting to pointlessness in the second stanza. The use of the pronoun ‘him’ in the opening line suggests this could be any soldier from World War I demonstrating the number of men who would remain unnamed and unclaimed during this conflict. On the contrary Charge is patriotic with Tennyson celebrating the courage and obedience of the soldiers – this can be seen in his use of ‘glory, honour/noble’.
Owen then seeks to convince the reader that it is not honourable or right to die for your country, as the title of the poem suggests so. He does this very successfully by presenting his very own opinion through a series of horrific and blood gorging imagery to show that the war is not honourable to die for. In stanza one, Owen describes the physical state of the soldiers to allow the reader to visualise and sense the cruel reality of how the war was for them. Their situation is made more realistic through the use of first person plural as displayed in the line “we cursed through the sludge”. Unexpected and contrasting descriptions of the soldiers such as referring to them as “bent double, like old beggars under sacks”, and associating them with animals by referring to them as “blood shod”, also changes the reader’s perception of what conditions were like during the war.
The results of war are shown both similarly and differently in the two poems. The contexts also differ due to the poet’s experiences of war. Wilfred Owen died fighting in World War One whereas Alfred Tennyson learned about the battle second hand therefore they have different perspectives. In ‘Futility’, Owen uses metaphors that could represent the feelings of the soldiers but Alfred Tennyson tells the story of the battle. In ‘Futility’, Owen utilizes personifications such as ‘The kind old sun will know’ and ‘Woke once the clays of a cold star’ to create a sense of desperation on the part of the soldiers.
As Martin Luther King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The connection between families and soldiers is affected by the war. Eric Bogle’s poem, The Green Fields of France, demonstrates the anti-war sentiment through the impact on the society due to the loss of young lives. Homecoming, by Bruce Dawe, explores the dehumanisation and pointlessness of war that thoroughly implicate the imperative relationship between soldiers and their families. The poem, The Charge of The Light Brigade by Lord Alfred Tennyson, presents the bravery and courage of the soldiers to sacrifice themselves in battle to defend their nation. The poets are using clear visual and aural poetic techniques to explore the relationship between the
Throughout ‘The War poems’ Owen creates a sense of sympathy for the soldiers who fight in war and are forced to endure horrific atrocities that either they themselves commit, or are committed against them, the continual assaults on their physical and emotional wellbeing. In the poems Owen recreates his experiences being an officer on the ‘Western Front’ in World War I, and voices his bitterness towards and rejection of the futility of war; the never ending loss of life at the hands of the British Military. Owen condemns those who encouraged young men to go to war and used rhetoric to give off the impression that war rewarded young men with glory. Owen rejects this in his poems by reflecting his own experiences as ‘Glorious’ and investigating the horrors of war, and their effect on the physical and emotional wellbeing of soldiers. Owen’s poems are riddled with references to the loss of youth, innocence and life.
How Does Duffy reveal her attitude to war and soldiers? In The Falling Soldier, Duffy takes the opportunity to use the photograph of the man’s ‘last breath’ to try and rewrite history, creating several different pleasant images of what the photo could of been representing, compared to the harsh reality. Duffy in both The Falling Soldier and Last Post shows the same theme of her trying to show what she wished, could have happened to the innocent soldiers. ‘If poetry could truly tell it backwards, then it would’ this is Duffy basically telling us that if she could rewrite history with her poems then she would. In the poem The Falling Soldier, which is in relation to the photograph by Robert Capa, Duffy begins the poem by using colloquial language such as ‘flop’ and ‘kip’ to create a very casual everyday image about how the photo could be interoperated.
The poet emphasised the cruel and horrible side to war by realistically describing the dead soldier, “the white eyes writhing in his face.” As the wagon he was “flung” into jolted, his blood “came gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs.” The poet conveyed the theme of his poem very successfully. He was angered by “the old lie.” “Dulce et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori” – it is a good and fitting thing to die for ones country. He wanted people to realise that war was a senseless waste of lives and he managed that through describing the horrors in vivid detail. Roger McGough shared this view but expressed it differently in his poem “Why Patriots Are a Bit Nuts in
Wilfred Owen wrote his poems during the war, he wrote his poems to present the horrific reality of war, to challenge the public perception that the media had fed them, he sought to express his own experiences to everyone. Throughout his poems the Owen convey the futility of war, loss, wasted youth and sacrifice. These are the main ideas expressed in the poem Futility, Owens manipulation of language techniques and the utilization of poetry are used in simultaneously to obliterate the romantic heroism of the war and emphasizing the pointlessness of war. In the poem Futility, Owens Emphasis is placed on a soldier that dies on the battle field of hyperthermia; the nameless young man who dies is used by Owen as a symbol for all the soldiers that die needlessly in the war. The title itself “futility” foreshadows for the responder the subject of the poem, giving them a general idea of what the poem addresses.