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Compare and contrast the tone of Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen with Rejoice by...

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user6446640 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted May 20, 2013 at 4:05 AM via web

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Compare and contrast the tone of Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen with Rejoice by Bruno Frank and the major differences between the poems.

 

Explain why the tones are different and aside from tone, what are is major difference between these two poems?

"Dulce et Decorum Est" BY Wilfred Owen

"Rejoice" BY Bruno Frank

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 20, 2013 at 5:28 AM (Answer #1)

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Dulce et Decorum Est is a fitting name for a WW1 poem as this was the mantra which often motivated soldiers to keep marching despite the desperate circumstances that often surrounded them as "towards our distant rest began to trudge." It is from Latin and means that it is an honor to fight and to die " Pro patria mori"  - for your country. The poem itself however defies this description as these men are faced with horrors "Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud."

A reader could be forgiven for thinking that he or she was reading about a different war when reading Rejoice. Short and full of hope as " ..the morning dawns and the evening sinks," Rejoice is a complete contrast to Wilfred Owen's desperate poem.

The only real similarity between these two poems would be in their titles as both titles suggest  (to quote Bruno Frank) that there is something  to celebrate in this "The greatest of all epochs."

Wilfred Owen tells a story of soldiers returning from battle and how they are still not safe from gas attacks as one man , "before my helpless sight, / (He) plunges at me" but the men can only watch him suffer. The descriptions are vivid and "the froth-corrupted lungs" leave little to the imagination.  Compare this to Rejoice where the soldiers are glad to be alive, "young and vigorous" and not haunted by memories of "vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues."

Both poems serve to remind young men about the "truths" of war and both end with their main message. In Dulce et Decorum Est, it is a warning, that, in seeking some "desperate glory" a soldier will find only "The old Lie" about service and honor whereas in Rejoice thre is a reminder that "no matter what may befall any one of us
He shall have seen this proud year."

The dark tone of Wilfred Owen  with descriptions that would make anyone's blood run cold compares to the "blessed" youth that Frank describes, serving to confuse, warn and charm the reader in both instances.  

 

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