Compare the Ways in Which Asquith in ‘the Volunteer’ and Brooke in ‘the Soldier’ Present the Glory of War.

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‘If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed…’ These opening lines of Rupert Brooke’s poem ‘The Soldier’ are amongst the most patriotic lines written in a poem. The fact that he believes that should he die, it has made the country he died in better because there is richer ‘English’ soil in it. These lines show a very optimistic attitude toward war yet do not glorify it, showing merely that dying in war is a proud thing to do for your country. It is written in the context of a letter, not just from Brooke, but from every young soldier to their loved ones, warning them of the possibility of his death, and stating it would actually be a good thing either way, hence ‘if I should die’, with the word ‘if’ being important, as there is still a possibility he will not. Brooke uses visual imagery to get across the idea that dying isn’t as bad as one would think. He says ‘Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home’ to insinuate a very peaceful English feel to death, as if being English makes death more like a restful sleep, which makes it seem like the two conflicting things, war and peace, are actually entwined with each other, justifying the conflict if not glorifying it. These phrases also have an effect on the reader, calming them when they think of war, a sharp contrast to the reality of conflict. The implication is that if every Englishman was to die this way then it suggests that this would make the world a better place, and that the war is almost worth it, hence slightly glorifying it. Asquith presents the glory of war in a very different way. In his poem ‘The Volunteer’, he tells the story of an office worker who has died in battle on the front. Once he was a frustrated clerk living a boring life, living out his heroic fantasies
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