‘Dulce et Decorum est’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘The Soldier’ by Rupert Brooke are poems about war but treat the subject completely differently. Dulce et speaks about the bitter reality of war while The Soldier glorifies dying for your country. ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ on its own means it is honourable to die for ones country. The title is misleading as Owen goes on to reveal the cold truth about war and tells us, ‘My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori”.
Also putting the title in Latin makes the poem more realistic, as if ‘The old lie’ has been told for centuries. The title, ‘The Soldier’ evokes a wasted life but the poem shows that in fact it is honourable to die for your country. The poem was written at the start of the war to try and convince young men to go to war as ‘The Soldier’ could be anybody and applies to all. Throughout the first stanza of Dulce et Owen uses effective similes to portray a tone of dirty, grimy experiences the soldiers had to go through. ‘Like beggars under sacks.’ Lets you feel the restrictive movement of the soldiers. ‘Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on”. This draws you in with the graphic war scene. “we cursed through the sludge”. Fatigue portrayed by language such as “trudge” and “lame”, “Drunk with fatigue” is a vivid image, describing the scene as they struggle through the mud to put the war behind them. To begin the second stanza Owen uses, ‘Gas! GAS! Quick boys!’ to make a chaotic scene. ‘Fumbling’ truly signifies the soldiers’ state of panic. In the third stanza Owen writes about a man who does not manage to put his helmet on in time and is consumed in gas and ‘floundering like a man in fire or lime...’ The use of the word fire makes you image hell and painful death. ‘As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.’ When a person is consumed with gas...