Compare How War Is Portrayed in the Poems Dulce Et Decorum Est and Five Ways to Kill a Man

Topics: Poetry, World War II, World War I Pages: 3 (1235 words) Published: November 15, 2009
Compare How War is Portrayed in the Poems Dulce et Decorum Est **and Five Ways to Kill a Man Both Owen’s Dulce et Decorum Est and Brock’s Five Ways to Kill a Man portray war in a bad light. How they achieve this objective however differs from each other vastly. Owen’s poem is a first-hand account of a gas attack in the First World War. Brock’s poem is a far removed spectator view of war throughout the ages. Owen’s poem uses vivid imagery and strong emotions to attack the fallacies of war, while Brock is much more subtle in his delivery. It is important to note that both poets had experience of war and that as such we cannot comment on differences relating from distance to the subject. Owen’s poem is a story of a gas attack in the First World War. Using pathetic fallacy (‘we cursed through sludge’) and negative language he sets up a scene of sheer horror. He begins by describing their weary march. He describes them using language like ‘bent double’, ‘asleep’ and ‘knock-kneed.’ This immediately gives the impression of fatigue, and he goes on to use negative language such as ‘blood-shod’, ‘lame’ and ‘blind’ to convey the dire straits which they are in. The poem is in Iambic Pentameter which is very rhythmic and emphasises the last syllable of each line which is often used in rhyme, as in this poem (even though enjambment takes away the full emphasis). He uses enjambment and plosive language to emphasise particular ideas such as ‘beggar’ and ‘flares.’ These both change the rhythm in either speed or rhythm. The rhythm is indeed slow at first and this causes the reader to mull over what Owen is saying. However in the second stanza the rhythm picks up to articulate the sudden rush of a gas attack. Owen uses a mix of quickening language and words with short syllables to speed the stanza up such as ‘Quick! Quick!’ and ‘Ecstasy’. This contrasts with Brock’s poem which maintains a steady rhythm throughout the poem, this tone makes it feel very instructional and dry....
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