Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Heroism of Dying for Ones Country in Poetry Essay -- William Shak

The Heroism of Dying for One's Country in Poetry The Volunteer is a Pro-War poem written by Herbert Asquith. Asquith uses roman imagery to invoke a feeling of greatness and honour. Asquith begins his poem by describing the miserable, mundane life of a clerk, working in a 'city grey'. He opens with the words 'Here lies' that are normally used to begin writing on a gravestone. This 'epitaph' - style opening gives the idea that the clerk has now passed away and the poem will concentrate on events beforehand. We are told the clerk has spent 'half his life' doing boring work ('..Toiling at ledgers..'), his days drifting away. There is a distinct lack of fulfilment in his life, '..With no lance broken in life's tournament' ('Lance' is roman imagery) And yet he dreams of '..The gleaming eagles of the legions..' and horsemen '..thundering past beneath the oriflamme..' (or battle flag.) Asquith cleverly uses the expression '..The gleaming eagles of the legions..' to conjure up ideas in the reader's mind of great gleaming roman soldiers. This adds to the ideology that war is a glamorous and noble thing. In his second stanza, Asquith tells us that '..those waiting dreams are satisfied..' Obviously, the clerk has joined the army. He talks of '..waiting dreams..' giving the impression that the clerk has dreamt of this for a very long time. He goes on to say '..From twilight to the halls of dawn he went..' I think what he means is that the clerk has gone from his dull city to a new, brighter beginning. And although he died he is happy. '..His lance is broken but he lies content..' Because in that 'high hour in which he lived and died' he achieved something he had dreamt of forever. Asquith also mentions that the ... uses images of death and an epitaph style opening to convey the message of a valiant death. I don't think that making the reader think of death will inspire him or her to fight for their country at all. Dulce est Decorum Est is the most effective poem of the three. It's usage of vivid and horrific imagery could make any patriotic citizen think again before going to war. The structure of the poem is extremely well thought out because it begins to get extremely shocking in the final stanza, almost certainly making the reader sway away from the honourable image he or she had of war before reading. It then finishes with labelling Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori a lie. This is intelligent because the reader is at his most easily influenced after reading the horrific description in the final stanza and therefore is more likely to agree with this point.

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