In this essay I would be explaining how six war poems explore the theme of war. Drummer Hodge was written by Thomas hardy in 1899. He wrote it after he read the death of a local drummer boy in the Boer war .Hodge was a nickname given to country people at that time. He used the name to show how cruel war can be on innocent individuals. In the first line of the poem it says “they throw in Drummer Hodge.” This portrays the image that maybe people don’t really care about the young soldier and that he is worthless and is like rubbish. The poem portrays the theme of war in different ways for different people. For the Drummer Hodge the theme that is portrayed is fear and anger because no one really cared if he died we get this impression when we read line “his landmark is a kopie crest that breaks the veldt around” this suggested that the young Drummer Hodge will not get a grave stone and will be forgotten also the poem suggests that Drummer Hodge does not know the meaning of life and is fresh from his home also the poem portrays the image that Drummer Hodge will be forgotten and will become a part of nature when he finally dies . We see this near the end of the poem.” His northern breast and brain grow to some southern tree”. This poem expresses a lot of anger towards the war and explores the theme of war in a lot of detail.
The next poem I will be discussing is Suicide in the trenches.
This poem was written by Siegfried Sassoon in 1917.Suicide in the trenches starts of by talking about a young boy who is in the First World War and is stuck in a trench and ends up committing suicide. Due to all the bad conditions in the trenches. Sassoon explored the theme of war in that he thought it was a bad thing a terrible thing to die and. Sassoon hated war he portrayed it as horrid and fearful and really explained the suffering the soldiers went through. Lots of men and boys were killing themselves because if it “he pit a bullet through his brain and no one spoke of him again”
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Lots of men who took their own lives were thought of as cowardly. In the first stanza you get the message that the poem is about a young boy who likes life in the war but as you read on you get a very different message. Sassoon is exploring the theme of war in the same way as some of the other poets. He is saying war is horrible and that it is not an honour to fight in also Sassoon expressed a lot of anger and sad in this poem also the poem is very sad and has a powerful message set by the poet.
The next poem I would like to write about is Dulce ET Decorum Est. This poem was written in 1917 by Wilfred Owen during the First World War which was about the horrible experience of war.
Dulce et Decorum Est. its message is that war is not heroic and dyeing for your country is not anything to be praised.Dulce et Decorum Est. actually means ‘It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country” just from the title you would think the poem is going to be about noble soldiers fighting and winning wars. But you get a very different message as you read on. Also the title of the poem is really ironic because you are telling people that it is sweet to die for your country even through the poem is about how cruel and horrible war is. Throughout the poem the writer gives a powerful message from the first line to the last. The theme of war in this poem is not good. In the first stanza the writer explains the horror of what war can do to the human body ‘Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots but limped on, blood-shod”. Most of the poem is about a soldier caught in a gas attack. From the title the writer makes you think that the soldiers are smart proud and willing to fight.
Which in the opening stanza you get a completely different idea of what the theme really is. The theme that the writer gives us is based on his passed experience of war for himself. Owen gives the reader lots of images of what the people looked like and what they were felling during the war the poem makes you fell as if you were watching all the men dyeing from the deadly gas. The men in the poem were very tired and many were dyeing Owen explains this in the poem “bent double, like old beggars under sacks”. When you are reading this poem you find out about the gas you are very happy that the gas masks are on but then you realize that someone hasn’t got there’s on yet and is slowly dyeing and no one can help or save him. Owen portrays the felling of fear and disgust that he wants you to feel for this poor soldier that died a horrid death. Owen explores the theme of war in a very powerful way his poem was truthful which makes it even more powerful. Also the writer portrays the theme of war so much he evens puts in his poem that even the devil would hate it and he describes things in his poem very well.
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning this shows how badly the soldier was suffering and the reader can really feel for the man who died. Owen is exploring the theme of war well he wants you to imagine you are there on the battle field he gives very strong images of this so you can really know what it was like for all of the soldiers on the battle field. The Writer in the poem explores the theme of war in a way which is horrible and fearful also the poet expresses a lot of sadness and a lot of fear.
The charge of the light Brigade. Written by Alfred, Lord, Tennyson in 1854. The poem is about the battle of Balaclava in the Crimean war which was between Russia on one side and England, France and turkey on the other. The poem is also about battles and the deaths of hundreds of loyal soldiers and the experience of war the writer portrays is very different than lots of the other poems. Through out the poem the writer tells us how Great War is despite over six hundred soldiers were sent to their graves. The poem is also about how the brave British soldiers went into battle knowing they would be killed. The poem begins with the light brigade charging into the valley of death. Already the writer is trying to create an image of the bravery of the soldiers and continues to do so through out the poem.
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Through out of the poem the writer uses lots of good language to give you pictures of the war he was writing about. In this poem Tennyson portrays that war is good and is fun. In the poem the writer uses words like “the mouth of hell” “The valley of death” he uses these words to give you a clear picture of what fate awaits the six hundred soldiers in battle. Tennyson portrays lots of things in his poem another thing he portrays is the great control the soldiers had for following orders even when the face of death was staring them in the face. Six hundred is almost mentioned at the end of each stanza this gives you the idea of the great kind of loss these men faced during the war. At the end of the poem the writer says Honor the charge they made.Honour the Light Brigade the writer is telling us to honor and respect what these men had done even though they all died the soldiers are being celebrated as mighty heroes. This poem explores the theme of war in the sense that war is good and some thing to be proud of.
On the eve of remembrance.
Was written by Laura Oliver in 2004.
The theme of war in this poem is fearful and you get that from the first line to the last. The poet starts of by saying “into Iraq if dare not go” this portrays the image that it is not a very nice place the second line says. “Where there are bodies row upon row” the poet is giving of a very horrible image of what is like for lots of people. Through out the first stanza you get the image that the poem is going to be about death and killing.
The poet explores the theme of war in the sense of upset and death war in this person eyes is not good. The poem is a very powerful poem from start to finish. In the second stanza the poet is saying that we should honour are noble soldiers “they lived; died fought a true foe and that we should remember the soldiers and all they have done. In the final stanza the poet talks about fighting and anger. The theme of war in this poem is anger and despair for the soldiers in the war also the theme is remembrance and sadness.
In conclusion I think the theme of war has been portrayed in lots of different ways by different poets. Some poets express anger and sadness while others express happiness and portray that war is good and dyeing for your country is good I think the theme of war is stronger in some poems than others but overall the theme his been portrayed in lots of different ways
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