War Poetry

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War Poetry – "Dulce Et Decorum Est" Essay, Research Paper ??????????? During World War I many poets published their poems to encourage people to enlist in the army. Special spaces were left in newspapers for recruiting poems; these poems and other areas of social life pressured young men into joining the army! Poems such as "Fall In" by Harold Begbie were designed to guilt soldiers into recruiting. He tries to make them feel bad in verse one by telling them that the girls will ignore them if they don’t sign up, "with a girl who cuts you dead." In verse two he describes how their children won’t respect them when they find out they didn?t fight in the war! Other poems like this are, "The Two Mothers" by Matilda Betham – Edwards

and "Who’s for the Game?" by Jesse Pope. ??????????? Wilfred Owen was abroad teaching in France when the war broke out in 1914. Here he wrote a war poem called, "Ballad of Peace and War", this poem contrasted strongly with his later work! Owen was extremely keen to be a soldier so he returned to England to enlist. He became an officer and in 1916 he was sent to the Somme in France. He took part in the attacks on the German Hindenbourg Line near St. Quentin. However he was forced to return to England when he became shell-shocked after a shell exploded beside him! Owen returned to England with a changed attitude to the war. ??????????? "Dulce et Decorum Est" contrasts intensely with the poems mentioned. Poems such as "Fall In", "The

Two Mothers", "Who’s for the Game?" and "Recruting" only have one motive, they are created to encourage people to enrol in the armed forces. Whereas Owen wrote "Dulce et Decorum Est " in order to inform people about the terror, anguish and torment which was experienced during the war. The recruiting poems make the war seem like a game and that you would be missing out on a big opportunity if u don’t go, when really you would be better off safe at home! Verse One ??????????? Verse one describes how the soldiers are returning to base camp. Owen uses a slow halting rhythm to suggest how much pain and misery the soldiers are encountering and to imitate how slow are walking. He does this by using punctuation. Verse one tells us a lot about the

condition, both physically and mentally, of the men and it gives us an idea of the appalling conditions! He portrays this by his use of similes, metaphors and vocabulary. He uses similes such as, "Bent double, like hags"; this simile illustrates how many of the men fall ill! Owen also uses metaphors such as, "Drunk with fatigue", to display how tired the infantrymen are, this metaphor leads us to believe that the men are so tired that they are unaware what is happening around them! The poet’s choice of vocabulary in verse one is very effective in communicating the message of fatigue. He uses words such as sludge, trudge, and haunting to describe the harsh conditions of the battlefield. Verse Two ??????????? The rhythm in verse two suddenly increases, this

displays the soldiers panic during the gas attack! Punctuation is used to create this faster rhythm, exclamation marks and short sentences suddenly speed up the pace and create excitement! This gives the reader an image of the weary soldiers suddenly changing into panic-stricken men! It means that the reader feels that they are involved in what is happening! "Gas! Gas! Quick boys!" direct speech is used to create panic. Owen also uses vocabulary such as stumbling, floundering, and fumbling to describe the desperate actions of the dying man. The verbs such as yelling and drowning give the reader a feeling of chaos! The simile, "like a man on fire" is used to describe the agony, which the man is encountering, it suggests how the man is writing and twisting in