How does "Dulce et Decorum Est" compare to "Who's for the Game?"'

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Wilfred Owen wrote "Dulce et Decorum Est" as an answer/rebuttal to Jessie Pope's jingoistic war poetry, one example of which is "Who's for the Game?" Owen originally titled the poem "To Jessie Pope." The two poems stand in stark contrast in the way that they present the Great War, now known as World War I. Owen takes a brutally realistic view of the war, portraying a soldier who failed to get his gas mask on in time and died an excruciatingly horrible death. Owen, himself a soldier during the war, spoke out against the recruiting poems that enticed young men to sign up for the war as if they were signing up for a tennis camp. Pope's poem uses such enticements and shaming to encourage men to enlist, even going so far as to call the war "fun" in these lines: "Who would much rather come back with a crutch / Than lie low and be out of the fun?" As a female journalist and humorist, Pope would not have seen the horrors Owen had experienced in battle. No wonder, then, that Owen scolds Pope in the last sentence of his poem. After addressing her as "my friend," he states that if she had watched men die from poison gas and had been tormented by nightmares afterward, she "would not tell with such high zest / To children ardent for some desperate glory, / The old Lie" that it is sweet and honorable to die for one's country.


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