War Sonnets

Author: Rupert Brooke (1837-1887) was an highly talented and educated English poet. He went to King’s College, University of Cambridge, on scholarship. 

Context: War Sonnets was written in 1914, a year when political and economic turmoils reached the highest point. Germany and Italy was demanding for redistribution of the colonials outside of Europe, and France and Britain felt endangered with the rise of Germany and Italy.

Language: Since they are a collection of poems, the language used is rhymed and has emotional impact.

Audience: Rupert is writing to the Britain public and army.

Intention: By illustrating what soldiers will be fighting for, which are the greater good and longer period of peace, Rupert evokes a sense of pride in fighting for one’s own country, so as to justify the war.

Message: Through the poems, Rupert suggests that death is what makes people “rarer than gold.” Dying for one’s own country is something to take pride in, and the nationalism spirit provoked Britain’s intention to go to war.

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