Who are the characters in The Soldier by Rupert Brooke?

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The speaker of this poem is the only character of the work. Very often in poetry the speaker is not actually the author, and the use of the first person pronoun "I" is not always indicative of the author's voice. But in this case, it appears that Rupert Brooke ,...

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The speaker of this poem is the only character of the work. Very often in poetry the speaker is not actually the author, and the use of the first person pronoun "I" is not always indicative of the author's voice. But in this case, it appears that Rupert Brooke, the poet, does have some things in common with the speaker of the poem, and it can be assumed that he is the narrator The speaker is, evidently, a soldier. The full length title: "Nineteen-Fourteen: The Soldier," alerts to the reader that the soldier who narrates the poem is likely taking part in the first World War, called the Great War at the time. Brooke himself was also deployed during World War I, as he was named a lieutenant and was commissioned into the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, sailing with the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in 1915. Brooke died far away from home in battle and was buried in Greece. It is more than a little chilling, then, that the soldier who narrates this poem makes a number of statements that would go into effect if he should lose his life in some foreign place (as the author later does). It is almost as if Brooke wrote this piece as a way to come to terms with his impending death.

This soldier-narrator claims that, if he does happen to die in some faraway place, away from his home, his death will be honorable, and his patriotism and spirit will live on. Because the soldier is made up of England—composed of its earth, bred by its air, washed by its waters, and blessed by its sunlight—the place where he dies, even though miles away, will actually turn into a little spot of English soil. It is as though his remains and his final thoughts—of home, of course—will transform it.

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