"Glory of Women" is an example of apostrophe, which is when a speaker in a poem addresses an inanimate object, an animal, or an absent person or people. In this case, the narrator speaks to the women who are at home during World War I. He addresses both British and German women.
"Glory" is something honorable, bright, and wonderful—a point of pride and joy. But in this case, Sassoon uses the word ironically. Women want to glorify soldiers fighting for the "cause," while Sassoon wants them to understand that there is nothing glorious about war. He writes the poem to dispel their illusions. He also communicates that the women do the men fighting a disservice when they glorify war. He states that their fantasies make the men into "shells."
The word "shells" in this context is a pun . First, by assigning ideas of "chivalry" to the war and by delighting in "decorations," women reduce men to nothing but stereotypes: ie, outward shells of false heroism. This denies the reality of the men's...
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