War Poetry

War Poetry

The poets, Bob Dylan, Wilfred Owen and Ewart Mackintosh express their key ideas and concerns through their poetry. They express key concerns like the suffering of the soldiers, the cowardly and deceitful government, the age the soldiers were and the reality of war. There are many literary techniques used to persuade the reader of the main issues, such as irony, graphic imagery, and others. The techniques used help the reader to sympathise with the soldiers and understand that war is inglorious.

In Masters of War, Dylan demonstrates that our world is being destroyed by the choices the government is making. He criticises the government for “hiding behind [their] desks when the fast bullets fly”. The simple imagery here combined with Dylan’s use of personification highlights the fear of the government and also accentuates the intensity of battle. The reader is manipulated to detest the government for hiding and behaving like cowards while honourable men face battle.

These fears are reinforced in his repetitive statement in Eve of Destruction; “you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction”. In these two poems Dylan uses the techniques irony, repetition and rhetorical questions quite frequently. Dylan uses extreme contempt in, the Eve of Destruction, by saying “And I hope that you die and your death will come soon”. Here he is talking about the government or whom ever is in power. The reader’s reaction to this poem is disappointment in the way the world is being run. This is because the writer makes one realise what is really happening to their world. Not just in war but politics and racism as well.

In Mackintosh’s poem however, he talks of how they are recruiting soldiers and how they are advertising the good things of war and not the bad things such as the after effects and death. “Go and help to swell the names, in the casualty lists”. Here Mackintosh uses a metaphor to describe the amount of casualties there are in war. The reader’s...

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