Powerful Ideas Of Dulce Et Decorum Est And Requiem For The Croppies

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Powerful ideas are at the heart of every novel, as shown in Wilfred Owen’s poem Dulce Et Decorum and Seamus Heaney’s poem Requiem for the croppies. Wilfred Owen’s poem Dulce Et Decorum Est talks about the deadly use of gas bomb and the soldiers desperately putting on their masks other wise they would die a horrible death. In Seamus Heaney’s poem Requiem for the Croppies, it is about the journey the Irish took in the rebellion and the harsh conditions they were in as they didn’t have the same supplies and materials as.

The poem Dulce Et Decorum reveals the cruel reality of the harsh conditions and injury’s suffered in war, such as those caused by chlorine and mustard gas bombs. The poem also describes the soldier’s conditions both physically and mentally. Through his realistic explanations Wilfred Owen gives us a picture of how harsh the conditions were and there was nothing good about it. “Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots” tells us that they were all very fatigued and where in very bad condition. “Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, But someone still was yelling out and stumbling”, “He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning” shows us the deadly weapons used and if soldiers didn’t put their masks on in time they would be drowned by their own blood.

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The poem has four stanzas but there is no particular structure in the stanzas. The first stanza contains 8 lines, the second stanza 6 lines, the third stanza 2 lines, and the final stanza 12 lines and there is an irregular rhyme scheme. There is an AB AB rhyme pattern like the words like sludge and trudge which mean slow moving and limited mobility. There are also many rhymes ending with ‘ing’ which give a sense of slow motion and makes it seem like it is almost repeating.

Wilfred Owen uses variety of language techniques such as repetition and contrasting sentences. Wilfred Owen uses a lot of repetition of single words to draw the attention key themes of the poem. He uses repetition in the 6th line of the poem, “All went lame; all blind” to really emphasize that it was everyone. He also repeats the words “Gas! GAS!” the second time, the word was capitalized as it was sudden and unexpected and expresses the terror and desperateness to put on their gas masks. At the end of lines 14 and 16, they are both ended with the word ‘drowning’, and it tells us that it is hard to forget the gruesome way that they died if they didn’t put on their mask in time. Wilfred Owen uses contrast to enhance the terror that the solider experienced. In line 8 “Of disappointed shells that dropped behind” he uses personification as well saying that the shells were disappointed, and he makes it seem like the shells weren’t dangerous at all and the shells dropped behind him like the danger was behind him and not where they were heading. The next line there is sudden contrast “Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!” of danger, followed by “ecstasy of fumbling”. The word ecstasy usually means happiness and joyful excitement.

Another poem that also has powerful ideas at the heart of the poem is requiem for the croppies. Seamus Heaney wrote this poem on the Irish rebellion in 1798. There were over 10 000 Irish soldiers and their family members that were murdered. Requiem for the croppies has 2 different main themes throughout the poem of Death and Resistance. The title includes the word Requiem, which indicates that the poem could have been written to commemorate the croppies that died while fighting. At the end of the poem ‘They buried us without shroud or coffin’ tells us that a lot of Irish had died and creates an image in our head of the scale of the deaths. It also shows that didn’t show any respect to the Irish even when they were dead. Another theme is the resistance and the fighting spirit the Irish had against.

Seamus Heaney uses a variety of language techniques such as personification and repetition. In the 2nd line, ‘No kitchens on the run, no striking camp -‘ he uses the repetition of no because of how unprepared and poor the Irish rebels were during the rebellion against the well prepared and organised troops. ‘Shaking scythes at cannon’, “and stampede cattle into infantry” shows us they also had very little or next to no rations and were also very heavily out geared, and they were fighting’s cannons, artillery and infantry with almost whatever they could find like scythes from the farms. Another poetry technique he uses, is personification. In line 12 he mentions that “the hillside blushed”. He uses the personification to show the consequences of the battle as the Irish died on their own soil, with their blood making the hills look like they have been blushing. The poem has only one stanza and there is an ABABCDCDEFEFEF rhyme scheme but many of the rhymes are imperfect.

The poem Dulce Et Decorum Est and Requiem for the Croppies both have a powerful idea at the heart of the poem. Dulce Et Decorum Est has the powerful idea of the cruelty of the weapons used in war and the conditions these soldiers faced, while Requiem for the Croppies had powerful ideas of the many deaths of the Irish rebels and also the resistance, being able to have the courage to stand up to who were far more superior, and to fight for what they believed in. Poems like these two both have powerful ideas at the heart of the poem which makes them such good poems.  


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