The Speaker's Importance in Poetry

Topics: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, Kill, Dulce et Decorum Est Pages: 4 (1607 words) Published: March 24, 2013
The speaker can be the most important aspect of a poem. The speaker allows for a more active voice in the poem, and can often serve as a mouthpiece to communicate the ideas of the poet to an audience. Much like an actor, the speaker can tell or act out a first-hand account of what occurs. The speaker is also a voice that can provide another perspective. With evidence from "Dulce et Decorum Est," "A Man Who Had Fallen Among Thieves," and "The Man He Killed," this essay will highlight the similarities and differences of a speaker to help establish the definition of a speaker. It will be shown how speakers serve a variety of roles in poetry, and can help readers gain a better understanding of universal issues.

The speaker in "A Man Who Had Fallen Among Thieves," takes on the role as a Good Samaritan for a man in need of help and abandoned by others. The speaker acknowledges society’s unjust acts against a man who "lay by the roadside on his back dressed in fifteenthrate ideas" (16). The speaker tells of citizens who "graze at pause then fired by hypercivic zeal sought newer pastures," and left the weak man to go elsewhere (17). The speaker, the Good Samaritan, rescues the punished man while the other citizens deny assisting the helpless man. While the poem illustrates themes like the importance of doing the right thing despite one’s own desires, the speaker serves as a voice to reiterate the point the poet wants to communicate to the audience. Because of the speaker, this poem offers a more of a realistic point of view and a different perspective from the citizens and the helpless man. Using powerful and graphic diction in such lines like "of pinkest vomit out of eyes," to describe emotions throughout the poem, the speaker helps to stir up emotions within the reader by offering a vivid first-hand account of the situation (17).

Like the speaker in “A Man Who Had Fallen Among Thieves,” the speaker in " The Man He Killed," uses vivid imagery to illustrate his...
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