Dulce Et Decorum Est and the Soldier

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The Soldier by Rupert Brooke and Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen Which of These Poems Offers the Most Accurate Representation of War? This week we have been studying war poetry and this essay will be deciding which of the two poems offers the most accurate representation of war. The two poems represent war in completely different ways, and both have different messages. The main theme in ‘Dulce et Decorum’ is that war is horrific and not sweet and fitting to die for your country, which is what Owen says at the end of the poem is “The old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”. On the contrary, ‘The Soldier’ takes a more honourable outlook on war, the main message of the poem being that wherever a soldier should die, they will always die in England, and that if they should die at war, it will be peaceful – the opposite of Owen’s view on war. The two poems show opposite views of war, and this could be because of the two poet’s different experiences. Rupert Brooke was an upper class, Cambridge educated man who was a poet before the war. He was called up to fight and was bitten by a mosquito on the way there and died before they had reached the battlefield. He wrote the poem in his final days and because of this, his poem reflects the high expectations many soldiers like him held of war, naïve about what to expect apart from the glory men were told about when they signed up to fight. Wilfred Owen had a much harder life but he was a determined man and became a school teacher after struggling to go to university. He died on the 4th of November 1918 tragically just days before the war ended. In contrast to Rupert Brooke’s poem, ‘Dulce et Decorum’ was written through the eyes of a man who had lived through all the horrors of the war and unlike Rupert Brooke, had fought in the awful conditions soldiers had to live in. Owen’s attitude to war was shown throughtout the poem – how he believed it was not glorious at all but the opposite. The difference between the...
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