Dulce Et Decorum Est and the Soldier

406 Words2 Pages
‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘The Soldier’ by Rupert Brooke are poems about war which treat their subjects differently. Both poems are examples of the authors’ perceptions of war; Owen’s being about its bitter reality and Brooke’s about the glory of dying for one’s country. There are a number of similarities between ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and ‘The Soldier’. ‘The Soldier’ says that fighting in a war for the sole purpose of defending one’s country is memorable, hence encouraging the act. On the other hand, ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ brings about extreme patriotism, that it is sweet and seemly to die for one’s country, though the poem itself discourages the act. “The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori”. Owen uses his personal experiences to present an incredibly realistic image, and sets out to shock his readers. Owen expresses his anger at this waste of life shown in his description of the man’s suffering, it all seems unfair. In the first stanza of ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’, the reader is drawn in with: “Bent double” . These short, sharp words have an instant impact, almost like a gunshot. Onomatopoeic words such as: “sludge” and “trudge” help to capture the anguish that is experienced by the soldiers, furthermore these help to reinforce the rhyme scheme, which is as regular as a drum beat. The way Owen creates rhythm most effectively is through the pauses that litter the stanza. While ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ conveys the ruthless reality of war and mocks the very act of patriotic death, Brooke uses ‘The Soldier’ to stress that it is undeniably an honour to die for one’s country, in this case ‘England’, and that it is even sweeter during war. Owen describes the death caused by a gas attack, exposing to his readers and pro-war poets that war is an ugly, brutal and detestable business. Brooke uses a different approach, and expresses that
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