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The Man He Killed

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Hannah West

on 15 April 2014

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Transcript of The Man He Killed

(by stanza)

1. The narrator and side character just met up at an old hotel. They should have sat down to talk but instead had a beer.
2.. I am in the army and now we are looking at each other. We shot each other and I killed him
3. I only killed him because he was my enemy. Exactly, he was my enemy. That should be clear.
4.He thought he could enlist, just like me. He had no job and he gave away all his possessions. That was the only reason why
5. Nevertheless, war was curious, you kill men and you hurt the ones you met at bar, or anyone that you give money to

The speaker
- The attitude of the speaker can best be described as one filled with guilt and despair. At the beginning of the poem the speaker seems to be angry at his so called war enemy, but then he realizes that this enemy of his was not so much of an enemy to him anymore. This enemy was human being who was innocent. The war was over and the fighting had stopped. The speaker felt guilty because of what he had done and he felt despair toward the war and what it had caused.

After revisiting the title again, I feel like the title is too broad for what is going on. This poem is not just about a man getting killed. It is about how an innocent man gets killed and how it affects the killer himself, who happens to be the speaker.

Title 2
Sound Devices
1. The “h” sound is soft which starts the poem off as a mystery, but the the harsh “t” sound conflicts, which could foreshadow conflict later on in the poem.
2. Mainly consists of soft sounds “o” and the “n” to resolute the ending harsh sound in line 1.
3. The harsh “t” and “d” can resemble some sort of contemplation that the speaker may have when he said “we should’ve sat down to wet.”
4. Again this line is overruled with the harsh “t” and “k” to maybe emphasize something out of disorder.
5. When talking about the war, the speaker uses the harsh “-try” sound and the “t” at the beginning. This is either resembling anger or frustration.
6. The harsh “t” in staring is softened by the soft “c” in face. Thus explaining the shift in tone.
7. The word shot runs the whole line as being negative, so therefore harsh.
8. This line starts off with a harsh word, killed, but ends in soft sounds consisting of “h”, “n” and “c”. This again could bring up conflict.
9. The harsh sounds in this sentence emphasize the conflict that has been building up.
10. The soft sounds could possibly resemble the hidden guilt that the speaker feels.
11. The repeated “o” can be interpreted as him coming to realization to the action that he has committed.
12. The speaker again tries to resolve his fear of guilt by making excuses and uses soft “o’s” to do so.
13. In this line he refers back to his enemy and uses harsh sounds to express his thoughts.
14. The speaker is still talking about his enemy and continually uses harsh sounds.
15. The speaker is again talking negatively toward his enemy.
16. He resolves this stanza with contemplation and soft sounds.
17. The speaker brings up the war again and directs his dialogue with harsh consonants.
18. Now the speaker directs his dialogue towards his audience with a more subtle tone and soft sounds.
19. Although the speaker wants the audience to understand his reasoning behind the killing, he still uses harsh tones maybe to convey the horrible person he just killed.
20. However, the author realizes that he killed an innocent man and uses a combination of soft to harsh sounds to conform with his emotions.

Thomas Hardy
The Man He Killed
Title :
I thought this poem was going to constitute around a murder story.
"Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

"But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.

"I shot him dead because —
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That's clear enough; although

"He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
No other reason why.

"Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown."

In line 9 directs a small portion of imagery to the actual basis of the poem. -
“I shot him dead…”
Due to this action, the speaker is feeling a sense of guilt.
In line 2 the author gives a location as to where the poem is taking place which sets a mood and creates a picture as to what is going on.
“By some old ancient inn”
This is meaning they are at a bar, which normally can portray a negative connotation.

In lines 10 and 11 the word foe is repeated because it represents the reasoning behind the killing. He killed this many because he was an enemy to speaker.
“Because he was my foe, Just so: my foe of course he was;”
He then follows that sentence with a resolution, trying to convince himself and the audience since it was his enemy it was okay to kill him.
At the end of the poem in lines 18 and 19, the speaker directs the audience by beginning both lines with you. By directly talking to the audience, the speaker wants you to feel sorry for him and feel the guilt that he feels. The speaker also tries to plead a case again to make it seem like killing this man was okay because he was an enemy of his.
“You shoot a fellow down You’d treat if met where any bar is’”

Rhyme and Rhyme Scheme:
The rhyme scheme in this poem is A B A B- C D C D- E F E F- G H G H - I J I J. The importance of this typical rhyme scheme is correlated with the rhythm of the poem. It happens step by step and he feels worse and worse as you read a long. The rhythm of the rhyme goes hand in hand with the actual story being told.
An important rhyme that happens within stanza 3 does not correlate with the rhyme scheme, but it also does not disrupt it. In lines 10 through 12, the vowel sound “o” is being presented mainly to interpret the action that has just been done.
“Because he was my foe, Just so; my foe of course he was; That’s clear enough; although”
This is important mainly because it can aid the reader to better understand how the speaker feels and as to what is exactly going on.

The poet
- The poet’s attitude can be described as satirical. This poem basically can be summed up to be about a soldier killing another soldier for no reason. However, at the end, he basically confronts the audience that any man can shoot another man, but come another time they could be having beer at a local bar. The contemplation brings about the question that if our enemies don’t kill us, are we considered lucky to be alive that day?
The first shift in the poem happens between the first and second stanza. The “but” implicates a tone shift, which goes from light- hearted to serious talk. The speaker shifts from explaining how to men go from drinking a beer to how to war vets hate each other after the war is over. The second notable tone shift happens after the third stanza. The speaker is now trying to justify his actions rather than just trying to figure out what just happened. Lastly, the third tone shift happens at the very end of the poem. He goes from four stanzas of guilt to disgust. He knew he had no right to kill the man he did.

The life of a man is the same in everyone. Think about the actions you commit before committing them.
Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy was born in Dorset, England in 1840.He was an accomplished poet. Hardy died in 1928. His ashes are in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey and his heart is buried in Stinsford with his first wife.
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