This essay is based on two poems which were written in the First World War. One poem was written by Rupert Brookes which is ‘The Dead’ and the other was written by Wilfred Owens’s which is ‘Dulce ET Decorum Est’. This essay will include a descriptive comparison between these two poems I will also be looking at the language both poets use and the effects it has on the reader. Rupert Brooke wrote his poem at the start of the war, it was written as a piece of propaganda, basically trying to encourage young men to join up and fight as he claims it is honourable to die for your country.
Whereas, Wilfred Owens’s poem was written towards the end of the war. Owen had fought in the war himself, he was diagnosed as suffering from shell-shock, he then arrived at craiglockland hospital, it was here where he wrote ‘Dulce ET Decorum Est’ .Owen reveals in his poem how it is not honourable to risk your life and die for your country. The two poets clash and show us two different attitudes toward war, and also toward dying for ones country. Both poets use strong similes and metaphors to prove their points about the war.
Firstly in Rupert Brooke poem he says,
”but dying has made us rarer gifts then gold”
Here he has used a strong simile because the soldiers are not literally gold. This quote also shows that they are lucky to be in the war, which gives them the chance to die for their country. However Owen claims the opposite, he states,
”Bent double like old beggars”
A simile which means war is horrific and that killing other soldiers is a waste and they look like old beggars. Brooke says in this poem,
”Nobleness walks in our ways again; and we have come into our heritage”
This metaphor is telling us that being noble gives you greatness and dignity and that this walks in their ways again and they can also now feel the heritage inside them. This confirms that dying for your country is a right thing to do.
However Owen says,
”in all my dreams before my helpless sight”
Here Owen is using a simile, he is showing us that he can’t look away in his dreams and he can’t turn from them too, he sees it all in his dreams and Owen completely believes dying for your country is no good.
”Their sons, they gave immortality” as you can see Brooke is using a metaphor here, they don’t literally live forever, in fact they are remembered forever. They gave their immortality and Brooke is saying giving up your life is not a big deal
In comparison Owen says
”obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud of vile”
Here Owen says war is like cancer it spreads and kills slowly.
Brooke champions the idea of the war cause for glory in his attempt to lure.
”blow out, you bugles over the rich dead!”
This statement sounds like a triumphant call to role similar to that of the pied piper of Hamlin leading young children away. The fact that the word ‘Dead’ is in capitals is significant because it suggest that if soldiers should die in the battle they will take on an almost holy quality.
Owen on the other hand writes his poem in the light of battle experience and is keen to discourage young men or as he thinks of them, children from going into battle. Owen writes in his poem,
”knocked-kneed coughing like hags”
This powerful simile emphasises the fact that the war has aged the men prematurely and robbed them of their youth. Owen says dying for your country is incurable and no point of ricking your life just for war.
Again Brooke uses a strong metaphor by saying,
”Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be”
Meaning their blood is precious, like sweet wine because the soldiers have been buried for years and their blood is rich just like rich wine when it has been left for years. They are more than humans. Blood of Christ is wine, like the dead soldiers blood. They have died young and have lost their young and happy years. In this quote he claims dying young is good
because your blood will be rich and precious. Brooke writes more by saying,
”of work and joy, and that unhoped serene” here he is saying that they worked, had a laugh and unluckily there was neither peace nor calm. Brooke also claims ‘unhoped serene’ he uses personification meaning when you give human qualities but not human basically just an image eg. The door yawned, a door cant yawn it is just a human quality.
In contrast of these two quotes Owen says,
”his hanging face, like a devil sick of sin”
Both a metaphor and a simile are being pictured into your head with. He’s not really a devil but he looks like a devil that has been hung up and being punished because of all the bad things that he had done in life. Owen is easily frightening the reader about war with this quote.
”The dead” that was written by Rupert Brooke as the First World War began ,has exactly proved to the reader that they should die for their country, because he says that your blood will be precious and even though you might not live forever you will be remembered forever. Brooke uses many points to attract people to die for their country. However, the other poet Wilfred Owen who wrote the poem named ”Dulce ET Decorum Est” who himself fought in the war wrote his poem toward the end of the war, in his poem he tells us sum facts about how the war is and that there’s no point of dying for your country. One out of all the quotes in Owens poem that I believe will get the reader attention is the quote, in which he claims, ”his hanging face, like a devil sick of sin” the reason I believe this, is because this quote makes people frightened about war as he is relating someone’s face to a devil sick of sin, also in my opinion I think this quote is very powerful and makes Owens poem a coincidence.