Today I am going to be writing an essay on comparing and contrasting two war poems which are ‘Who’s for the Game ‘by Jessie Pope and Dulce Est Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen. In the first poem ‘Who’s for the Game’ the way war is presented is very different. It is mainly propaganda for young men to join the army. As this was written by a person’s point of view and not the soldiers, the poet doesn’t necessarily know the reality behind war. People who enlisted themselves do not know the truth of war and are just amazed by the glory of it.
While in the second poem, the poet writes about the reality of war and those men who went there to discover the truth about it. This poem shows the horrors and the things that happened during war for example men trying to put their mask on when the enemy throws gas bombs at them. These things happened in the trenches and many are not aware of it. Although they are both war poem’s structure is different in the first poem, the rhyme scheme is ABAB as it is easier for educated as well as uneducated people to understand.
The poem is short and only consists of 2 stanzas and a meter in between while in the second poem, the rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD which is more complex and complicated to understand so not everyone might understand it. The second poem is longer as it contains 4 stanzas which is equivalent to 2 sonnets. The similarities of the structure are that both have repetition on the words like who and you for the first poem and only you for the second poem.
Other than that both poems uses personification such as ‘Your country is up to her neck in a fight’ and ‘disappointed shells that dropped behind’. I noticed that both poems did not have a lot of rhythm as Even though both poems are about war, the content of the poems are different firstly the poet’s attitude towards it is different. The first poem is to recruit young men to join the war so the poet writes it in a way that it is easy to understand, catchy and most importantly persuasive as there is lots of adjectives used.
Other than that the poem used repetition for the words who and you. In the first 12 lines of the poem the poet uses the word who to draw attention of the reader and at the last 4 lines of the poem the poet uses you to indicate to the reader that you are going to do it ‘your country is up to her neck in a fight and she’s looking and calling for you’. It gives the reader the guilt that he is not at war and gives out patriotism ‘Who’s for the game, the biggest that’s played’.
It suggests to me that the poem captures the reader full attention and able to convince them to join the war and participate in the game as it is the biggest event that’s played. In the second poem, the poet’s attitude is different as he; the poet himself is experiencing war at first hand. The poet writes about the reality in a sarcastic way to bombard the first poem. The poet uses more discouraging facts and stating the truth instead of twisting it. Even though the first poem uses more adjectives, the second poem had a better imagery, use of metaphor and simile. This poem had a more serious tone than the first poem as it has a more serious layout.
In this poem it describes what it was like being in the fields of war. The poet describes his experience of war ‘Men marched asleep’ and ‘Drunk with fatigue’. The word choice in this poem is more complex and has a careful selection of words as uses ‘fancy’ words compared to the first one which just consists of simple word choices. The ending of both poems are different for example in the first one, it ends by calling out for the reader to join the army by stating ‘She’s looking and calling for you’.
And the second poem it ends with a bitter end which is ‘the old lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori’ which translates to it is sweet and right to die for one’s country. The poet ends it in a way that it changes the readers mind after reading the poem as it gives the reader a new perspective to them. So to conclude my essay, I can say that both poem show different perspective of war. In the first one it give a more encouraging and propaganda towards war.
I can say that a lot of propaganda was used to encourage young men to join the war while the second poem it states about how young men who are desperate for glory would not care for such reality. And in the second poem there are more factual reality to it as it states more of the truth about war and the horrors of it. So in order to complete thus essay I interoperated that much use of propaganda is not much of use as the men will come to realize the reality of their desperate glory