What is the historical context of “Spring Offensive” by Wilfred Owen?

The historical context of “Spring Offensive” by Wilfred Owen is the British involvement in World War One. Owen was an Englishman who had lived in France in the 1910s and then fought there as a British soldier. The poem expresses the conflicted feelings of many soldiers. He was killed in battle in 1918.

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The general historical context of Wilfred Owen’s poem “Spring Offensive ” is World War One. Owen was an Englishman in his early twenties when the war began. His interests in religion, literature, and education had led him to employment teaching English in France. Owen returned to England, where...

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The general historical context of Wilfred Owen’s poem “Spring Offensive” is World War One. Owen was an Englishman in his early twenties when the war began. His interests in religion, literature, and education had led him to employment teaching English in France. Owen returned to England, where he joined the army and completed his training. He returned to France in 1916, entering combat as a lieutenant in the Manchester Battalion.

Owen’s personal feelings about the horrors of war were expressed in a number of poems. His personal experiences and reactions were far from unique, as this war combined unprecedented technical ferocity with large numbers of casualties. The upbeat patriotic tone that prevailed back in England clashed with the harsh realities of the battlefield.

The battle that Owen describes in “Spring Offensive” is thought to have taken place in spring 1917, when his company was one of those attacking the German Hindenburg line. The poem poignantly conveys the hellish atmosphere of battle and the dehumanizing effects of combat on its participants.

Like many other soldiers, Owen survived a battle in which many others around him were killed. Hospitalized for a concussion, he was diagnosed with “shell shock,” the term then used for what is known today as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After being transferred to an English hospital, he met other poets who were also critical of the war and wrote anti-war poetry. This new direction in English poetry is another aspect of the historical context. Owen recovered sufficiently to return to duty, and was killed in battle in November 1918, only a week before the Armistice.

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