The music of 'Anthem for Doomed Youth.'

Essay by annerackwitszUniversity, Bachelor's December 2006

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"Anthem for doomed youth" is an expression of sadness and compassion for the dead, a judgement on Wilfred Owen's own experience of war rather than a declaration of the experience itself. When reading the poem it is seen that the writer uses musical images which relate to the actual theme of the poem. In this poem of William Owen, the theme is the sadness and chaotic of war. His use of sound symbolism, also known as onomatopoeia, relates to the musical image in the poem and therefore relates to the poem's theme.

Wilfred Owen's poem, "Anthem for Doomed Youth", is an expression of the tragedies and uselessness of war which had as a result the death of young men on the battlefield. In order to express his theme, Owen mixes the sad, calm images of a funeral with the chaotic, explosive images of a battle. In the poem the writer expresses his opinion about the doomed youth of war.

His opinion being: the tragedy of no ceremonial burial to pay respect for the lost youths of war. He compares the "rapid rattle" of guns with the harmonies of funeral. The "passing bells" of church and "the monstrous anger of the guns."

Right at the start of the poem "Anthem for Doomed Youth," the simile "die as cattle" relates with the image of slaughter and the idea of men being treated as less than human because they do not get a ceremonial burial. "Anger of the guns", in line 2, clarifies that the hatred of the enemy was more commonly known among civilians than among the troops. Musical images relate to the poem's theme throughout the poem. The "passing bells" for the people who die on the battlefield and sounds of the rifles in lines 1-8, are all musical images which...