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Comparisons of war poems – Before Agincourt and Anthem for doom youth Essay

In exploring the portrayal of war in the poetry of Wilfred Owen and Shakespeare one can see the contrasting attitudes and realities of war. In before Agincourt set in 1415 composed by Shakespeare, he portrays the glory and honour in war, whilst Anthem for doomed youth composed by Wilford Own set in 1914 is expressing the meaningless and realistic thoughts of view. In the first stanza which Shakespeare has composed in the poem before Agincourt. He uses manipulating concepts that convey the message that war is a great adventure and that you should die for your country.

Whilst Anthem for Doomed youth is doing the exact opposite and tries to convince the reader that war is a horrific ordeal. As the two poems where written in an interval of five hundred years it shows us very clearly the different point of few people had in their perspective time about war. Before Agincourt is a very patriotic and heroic poem. In the first stanza Shakespeare uses a courageous tone. He uses emotional adjectives and verbs to make the reader feel the same as he does. He also uses a lot of positive nouns to create this affect e. g. “greater share of honour’ “Gods will”.

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There is not much alliteration or any form of onomatopoeia in the first stanza. The second stanza uses a lot of emphasised words and longer pauses before the next line he also uses repetition of words starting with M. In the last stanza of the poem he does not use any assonance, onomatopoeia and alliteration technics to emphasize his poem. He only uses strong punctuation and pauses to create a very positive approach on war. This poem could be used as a propaganda device. Anthem for Doomed Youth composed by Wilford Owen. In the title of this poem Wilford is expressing that war is negative.

Doom” is a simile to convey inevitability of death, Doom also uses assonance with the double O’s. It has an affect of being scary and threatening. The first stanza uses repetition to add rhythm and onomatopoeias to create a more realistic approach on war. The second stanza uses a lot of repetition and emphasised words. e. g. “No mockeries”, “no prayers nor bells”. No mockeries is implying no more joy and that they can’t be mocked any more because they have perished. The “No” is also emphasised to give the poem more rhythm. No prayers nor bells. Is repetition, it also has a sad motive.

The tone goes up to give the poem more negativity and sadness by elongating some words. The third stanza uses a rhetorical question to start off with. The mood is a lot softer. This is created by the poet using a softer tone to shorten the “S’s, P’s and R’s”. He uses repetition to try and enhances the reader’s sadness and visual imagery. There are also a lot of similes and metaphors used. E. g. pallor, paleness, brows, forehead. In the last stanza there is a vast amount of imagery of death. There is an ethical custom to conclude his poem. “Drawing down of blind” this is what people at home did when a close relative died.

Comparing these two poems reveals that Shakespeare’s before Agincourt uses a lot less alliteration and repetition making the poem more joyful and honourable for war. In conclusion Shakespeare is totally glorifying war while Wilford more realistically looking at war as a horrifying killer concept. Style wise I prefer Shakespeare poem having a nice ring to its rhythm but the content of his poem is out dated and modern man would find it hard to agree with his idealistic point of views. Personally I can understand Wilford’s Owens point of view better then Shakespears. War is a horrifying non justifiable matter and should not be promoted.

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