This essay compares and contrasts 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen, and 'Peace' by Rupert Brooke.

Essay by tommyboydick October 2003

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'Dulce et Decorum est' and 'Peace' are both poems written during the First World War. As I compare them, it becomes clear that both Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke have very different opinions about the war.

In the poem 'Dulce et Decorum est,' Wilfred Owen talks about how the war is unbelievably terrible. He is very negative about it, and doesn't think that this life should be wasted. For example, Wilfred Owen immediately explains in the fourth line, that if you go to war, then you are guaranteed to be killed:

"And towards our distant rest began to trudge."

In contrast, the poem 'Peace' is the total opposite to 'Dulce et Decorum est.' Rupert Brooke appears to be pro-war, thanking God for this wonderful opportunity to die for your country. Here is an example of this:

"Now God be thanked, who has matched us with this hour."

This is simply saying that God has given them a task to kill people for their country, and they must carry out this task.

The name "Peace" is very confusing, seen as the poem was written at the start of the war. Maybe it was a form of propaganda, to make people think that war wasn't as bad as it looks. It may also mean that there will be peace after they win the war, or on the other hand, it could mean that there will be peace after they die.

'Dulce et Decorum est' uses powerful words and adjectives, which gives a good effect, and makes you want to read on. The first verse is all about how exhausted the soldiers are, like old men. There is nothing for them to live for any more. It's almost like they don't care if they die.