Essay Comparing Counter Attack and the Soldier

861 Words4 Pages
Comparing “The Soldier” and “Counter Attack”
At the beginning of the century two ideas prevailed about what war was like; it was either heroic or mere butchery. These ideas are represented in the 2 poems “The Soldier” by Rupert Brookes and “Counter Attack” by Siegfried Sassoon.
Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) was an accomplished poet in WW1. Unlike Sassoon, Brooke never fought at the front line, but joined the Mediterranean Navy where he died of a mosquito bite. Rupert Brooke expressed his feelings about war (war being a heroic act) through poems such as “The Soldier” where he talks about the solemnity of the soldier and represented war as the ultimate sacrifice and honourable act for your country. Siegfried Sassoon (1887-1967), however, was a
…show more content…
Whereas, Brooke’s “The Soldier” glorifies death, emphasises the greatness of England and shows soldiers are proud to be English and fighting for “her sights and sounds”.
“WE’D gained our first objective hours before”, is the first line in “Counter Attack”. The personal pro noun “WE’D” is emphasised in the poem telling the reader that THEY (him and the soldiers) have accomplished their objective and could imply that the generals or people in higher command have not. This sends a message to the reader that generals do not accomplish tasks/objectives. Adding to this, by describing the soldiers as “Pallid, unshaved and thirsty” tells the reader that they are lacking in, colour, spirit or intensity. This conveys the message that soldiers are not happy or proud to be in the war. On the contrary, Brooke uses personification; “gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given” which helps to convey the message that he is proud to be in the war. In addition, “Counter Attack” portrays death to be of mere importance and not elegant- “dead green clumsy legs”. Green and clumsy presents death as not glorious but mere butchery. By Contrast, Rupert Brooke describes his dead body as “A richer dust concealed” which portrays death as an experience to cherish and not to fear. Finally, Rupert Brooke uses words such as: “CORNER of a foreign field”, “richer dust CONCEALED” and “body of ENGLAND” to convey the message that there were many soldiers who died
Get Access