Dulce et Decorum est
“The Soldier” show how the poets manage to put across their message effectively. In World War 1 many young men were encouraged to become soldiers and fight for their country. The poems “Dulce et Decorum est” by Wilfred Owen and “The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke tackle the subject of war and show the poet’s experience in war. In the poem “The Soldier” the poet speaks of the glory, honour and the nobility of war and of fighting and dying for England.
Brooke shows a strong feeling of patriotism throughout the poem and says he will be “forever England”. He says that if he dies, the place he will be buried will have “richer dust” because he has been taught, shaped, influenced and enriched by England. The poet also believes that he will be forever remembered as a hero and will be “a pulse in the eternal mind”. In this poem, England is personified and compares it to a mother figure who gives life to her son “A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware” This sonnet has a regular rhythm and rhyme scheme.
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The poet’s intention is to show the reader that dying to fight for your own country is the most honourable thing to do. In contrast to Brooke’s poem, Wilfred Owen expresses the harsh realities of war in the poem “Dulce et Decorum est”. Owen speaks from first-hand experience shown by the use of “we. In the first stanza, the poet uses a slow dragging rhythm to bring out the image of the tired, “blood shod”, suffering and wounded soldiers. He also uses a simile to show how sick the soldiers were “coughed like hags”.
In second stanza, however, the poet uses a fast, quick rhythm and effective use of punctuation to show a sudden panic and tension in the gas attack; “Gas! Gas! Quick boys”. Here the poet describes the “ecstasy of fumbling” of the soldiers quickly putting on their protective masks but one soldier fails to do so. Owen portrays a vivid description of the suffering soldier “Like a man in fire or lime” and compares the dying soldier to someone “drowning”. In the final part of the poem, Owen addresses Jessie Pope as “my friend” who wrote in favour of war.
He concludes by saying that it’s an “old lie” that it is sweet and honourable to die for your country – “ Dulce et decorum est Pro Patria mori” because in reality it is very mush the opposite which is true. Although the subject of both these poems is about war, they sharply contrast each other. This is because Rupert Brooke’s poem shows a positive attitude towards war expressing feelings of patriotism and honour, whereas Wilfred Owen shows the harsh realities of war and clearly shows what the soldiers are faced with.