War Poetry - Affecting Feelings and Thoughts

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2. Analyse methods used to affect both feelings and thoughts in the texts you have studied “Soldier” – Rupert Brooke
“Dulce et Decorum est” – Wilfred Owen
Two poets I have identified to affect both feelings and thoughts through war poetry are Rupert Brooke with his pre- world war one poem ‘Soldier’ and Wilfred Owen through his poem ‘Dulce et Decorum est’. Both poems were written with the aim of affecting reader’s views towards the war, but the contrast between the two is unmistakeable. All throughout ‘Soldier’, Rupert Brooke is emphasising the superiority of the English nation. The words “If I shall die think only this of me; that there’s some corner of a foreign field that is forever England” link to the idea that readers have an obligation to fight and possibly die for their country, because it is portrayed by Brooke that England is superior to other countries. The tone of this poem relates to the views people had near the beginning of the war and was used by the government to recruit many young men into the English army. Brooke uses many methods in ‘Soldier’ to advertise to young men reasons for joining the army. ‘And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, in hearts at peace, under an English heaven.” This quote has many positive connotations associated with it, causing the reader to feel and think as though the war is a positive experience. Because of the way Brooke depicted the war, many young men saw joining the army as an appealing opportunity to fight heroically for one’s country. Whereas this idea of what war was like changed for many people as the war continued. Wilfred Owen later wrote his famous poem ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ which caused a turn-around in the way people thought and felt about the war. Owen delivers a powerful opening stanza, creating horrific images of the war “knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge” and later on with harsh onomatopoeia “guttering, choking, drowning”. This shows the reader the reality of war,...
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