The Man He Killed - Thomas Hardy Analysis

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The Man He Killed, by Thomas Hardy (1905) Thomas Hardy's poem 'The Man He Killed' was written in 1905 and focuses on the pointlessness of war, where a man has killed another man just because they were fighting on opposing sides in a war. The title in written in third person, however, the poem is written in first person, already, as we can see, this is a sign that he is distancing himself. Written in the first person from one of the soldiers, the first stanza states the idea that the two men, who fought against each other in combat, could have enjoyed a few drinks together, if they had been in other circumstances. The words: 'right many a nipperkin', means enjoying a drink, this explains to me that they could have been acquaintances in different situations. In the second stanza, it becomes obvious that they had actually met as soldiers in a battle, and being face to face with each other, one was going to die. The narrator was hit by a bullet but survived, whereas the other man were shot by the narrator and was fatally injured and could not be revived. The line in the poem, ‘And staring face to face.’ classifies as an important line in the poem as all the emotions are shown in the face, therefore as the man felt the impact of the bullet, the narrator could see the fear and pain in his face as he died. The look on his face would probably be etched into the narrator’s mind forever. As the men stood together, face to face, their guns pointed at each other. The only exploit to do was, kill or be killed himself. Hardy, the writer uses repetition as a sign of hesitation, in the third stanza, as he pauses and repeats the word: ‘because - Because…’ It shows his reflection of guilt and inner conflict for killing someone. The third line of this stanza introduces more repetition, this time of the word 'foe' (enemy); the use of phrases such as 'Just so' and 'of
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