Formalist Critical Approach to Rupert Brooke's "The Soldier"

Essay by Chris ChupellaCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 1997

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I am analyzing the poem 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke. This poem is about a

man who loves his country dearly. The country is England. He believes that if he should

die in a far away battle field that people should remember of him only that he was English.

Brookes says in his forth line, 'In that rich earth a richer dust concealed.' This means that

if he is to die in a land other than England that the soil would be made better because there

would now be a piece of England within it.

The plot of this poem reinforces it's meaning because it deals with death and love.

These are two powerful things that evoke feeling in people. It helps to create an image in

the poem of a man who is very brave and would do anything for his country.

The character in the poem reinforces the meaning because he truly believes in his

country. He describes England in his ninth line by saying, 'And think, this heart, all evil

shed away.' These are the words of a man who truly believes that his land is the greatest

of good.

Images in 'The Soldier' are extremely strong and persuading. One image is the

line 'Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam.' This line evokes images of a

beautiful woman cherishing and caressing the man who stands at her side. Another line is

'Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.' This line creates a feeling of tranquillity

and a unity with nature.

Another line that evokes a feeling of peace and happiness is, 'Her sights and

sounds; dreams happy as her day.' Without such strong images, the poem would probably

not have such a...