The Dead By Rupert Brooke

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Rupert Brooke was the author of a set of five war poems titled “The Dead.” Brooke reflects his idealistic views on death during war in those poems. Since Brooke never experienced what war was actually like, the death described is glorified and the poems become elegy’s. His fourth sonnet, “The Dead (VI),” is a sonnet consisting of an octet and sestet. Unlike a typical sonnet, Brooke does not use a “problem and solution” structure in his poem. Instead, Brooke describes the lives of the pure hearts in the war in the octet and describes their death in the sestet. A volta is seen at the end of the octet as the poem is translated into the sestet. The rhyme scheme of the poem begins with that of a typical English sonnet, but after the volta,…show more content…
Their death was not in vain and they died with honor. The octet and sestet used in Brooke’s poems do not withhold the typical characteristics of a sonnet, “Traditionally, one main thought or problem is set out in the octave and brought to a resolution in the sestet” (Eberhart). This is because the poem serves a different purpose. Rather than providing a solution to a problem, the speaker provides a view into the lives of the soldiers and how they had “joy” and proceeds to the sestet to provide an image of the soldier dying in “unbroken glory”. The sonnet is structured this way because it aids the reader in understanding that the death of the soldiers is glorious. Between the Octet and the sestet, there is a volta or shift. The volta aids the poem to transition from the description of the lives of the soldiers to the image of the glorious death of the soldiers. In doing so, the diction of nature changes from the octet and sestet. The poem transitions seasons from spring to winter. The volta lies on the last line of the octet, “All this is ended.” (l. 8). Previously, the speaker in the octet described the lives of soldiers and stated that they were filled with different emotions. In the last line of the octet, the speaker simply ended the description. The volta leads the reader to an abrupt shift from the life of the soldiers before war to their idealistic death in the sestet. In the octet, the diction used to describe the lives of the soldiers consists of
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