As Level, Changing Attitudes to War (B-)

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Analyse the changing attitudes to war in the poems you have studied so far. From studying “Peace,” by Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen’s two poems “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” and “Dulce et Decorum Est,” we have easily gained the knowledge of the changing attitudes to war. As Brooke’s poem encourages war, “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” states how undignified death at war is. While “Dulce et Decorum Est,” presents the horrific realities of war through its visual imagery.

Firstly it is easy for the reader to comprehend Brooke’s attitude to war through his poem “Peace.” As it becomes clear in the first line of the poem that Brooke is encouraging war as he states: “Now, God be thanked Who has matched us with His hour,

And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping.”
Suggesting to the reader that before the war the men were not living fulfilled lives and they should be thankful that the war has given them a chance to prove themselves. He even indicates that: “Oh! we, who have known shame, we have found release there.” This illustrates that through war the men can atone for their past wrongdoings by defending their King and country. Through Brooke using a sonnet form he has strongly clarified his love for his country. Sonnets are typically used for and elevated form of poetry. This creates the impression that the subject of war is simple as: “the worst friend and enemy is but Death.”

Advocating that the worst that could possibly happen is death but you would die a ‘hero’ and for a greater purpose, the defence of your country. Therefore reinforcing Brooke’s idea that war has given the men purpose, liberating them from their previously mundane lives.

On the other hand, Wilfred Owen’s poem “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” is in the form of an ironic sonnet as he believes that the men who die at the war are not given the dignity and respect that they deserve. Owen shows this through his use of rhetorical questions: “What passing-bells for these who die as...
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