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The Soldier vs Dulce Et Decorum Est
Transcript of The Soldier vs Dulce Et Decorum Est
According to Rupert Brooke, dying for his country would be a very noble thing to do for his death will be blessed by England itself and he will become immortal because he fought for his country. The soldier himself had been shaped into the person he has become by England, which had also influenced his thoughts and beliefs and taught him about love, loyalty and honour. In fact, he believes that Heaven is an English paradise: “In hearts at peace, under an English heaven”
Wilfred Owen shows us the extent of damage that happens in war. He describes how the soldiers are stripped of their humanity when they kill off fellow humans in cold blood. He also describes the gruesome effects of a comrade after he breathes in toxic fumes which result in his death: “He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.”
Death in itself is the repercussion of both poems.
In 'Dulce et Decorum Est', one of the repercussions is watching a fellow soldier dying before his eyes, whilst he is helpless to do anything; "before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, chocking, drowning."
In ‘The Soldier’ dying is not viewed as a negative thing, but it is rather a positive thing as dying for your country is a noble thing to do. Unfortunately, this poem was used as propaganda to encourage soldiers to join the army, so after seeing this poem, more young men were encouraged to join the war, simply to do the honourable thing. They were not aware of the repercussions that war will bring.
In 'Dulce et Decorum Est', Wilfred Owen uses imagery which shows how tired the soldiers are and how they might collapse due to fatigue; "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, /Knock-kneed, coughing like hags". The soldiers' uniforms are torn and full of blood and mud, hence implying that there is no honour in wearing the uniforms.
On the other hand, the soldiers in Rupert Brooke's poem are "at peace" since they have the honour of dying for England; "hearts at peace, under an English heaven".
The Soldier Himself
"In all my dreams" and "If in some smothering dreams" suggests that Wilfred Owen is so affected by what he saw that he has nightmares about it.
On the other hand, Rupert Brooke's poem suggests that he is not affected in the same way; "dreams happy as her day;/ And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness."
by Wilfred Owen
Dulce et Decorum Est
by Rupert Brooke
In 'The Soldier', the battlefield is being euphemised; "There shall be/In that rich earth a richer dust concealed". The battlefield is being compared to "rich earth" and by dying, he will enrich the soil he will be buried in. The battlefield which is normally described as a graveyard is being described as "some corner of a foreign field/ That is forever England".
On the other hand, in 'Dulce et Decorum Est', the battlefield is being described as "sludge" of mud, blood and dead bodies, through which they have to walk.
Heaven and Hell
In 'The Soldier', Rupert mentions the "English heaven". His idea of dying is so patriotic that he believes that dying for England will be enough and that he will then be at peace.
Wilfred Owen opposes this, with the simile "like a devil's sick of sin" where the devil himself looks away because he cannot stand such a ghastly sight.
In 'Dulce et Decorum Est', Wilfred Owen describes the battlefield when there is a gas attack; "As under a green sea". Due to the greenish fog that the gas creates, and due to the green glass of the mask, the battlefield is given a greenish hue.
In 'The Soldier', Rupert Brooke mentions no such thing, hence making his poem less realistic than Wilfred Owen's
In ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’, the soldiers are desensitised; “All went lame; all blind […] deaf even to the hoots.” These images suggest that there is no life left in these soldiers, and that they are like zombies trudging across the battlefield.
On the other hand, in ‘The Soldier’, “And think, this heart, all evil shed away” suggests that the soldiers will be transformed after their death, and that they will become immortal, becoming a part of England itself.
In both poems, the soldiers are killed or left in a traumatised effect.
This is shown by “The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est / Pro partia mori” in the poem ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and by the nightmares that the poet experiences and “If I should die, think only this of me” in the poem ‘The Soldier”