Siegfried Sassoon

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Analyse the poem 'They' by Siegfried Sassoon. Please include themes, symbols, style, poetic technique (biography not necessary unless it is relevant to the poem)

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Before writing an essay on the analysis of the poem 'They' by First World War English poet Siegfried Sassoon, it's a good idea to make some notes, going through the poem line by line (and never forgetting a poem's title - it can sometimes tell us a lot!)

Ideas to get you started:

Title - Who are the 'They?'

Where is Sassoon when he is listening/reading the Bishop's words?

Is the tone respectful or satirical/mocking?

Mention when the themes of war/religion/nationalism creep in - use quotes.

Who or what do the Germans symbolise?

Is the style formal,joky,free, structured, consider verses,stanzas.

Look at and quote the places where the poem rhymes. Comment on what effect this has on the reader.

The dialog changes in style and tone - where? And why? What does this represent? Compare it to the bishop's words and comment on the contrast.

Finish by mentioning the exclamation mark at the end!


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