Perspectives

Historical period

The author of the poem “The Hero”, Siegfried Sassoon, is considered one of the leading poets of the First World War. Sassoon served on the Western Front and was even decorated for bravery. His acts of bravery were sometimes so extreme, that they were described as suicidal, earning him th…

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Textual perspectives

Another poem by Siegfried Sassoon which also explores the realities of war is “Suicide in the Trenches”. Like “The Hero”, it tells of the death of a soldier caused by his own disenchantment and misery, after having witnessed the horrors of war. While in “The Hero”, Jack gets blown up in an attempt to get wounded and sent back home, in “Suicide in the Trenches”, the soldier shoots himself in the head. In both poems, the people back home do not know what really happened. 

Another poem which explores the hypocrisy of idealizing war is “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen. Its message is even more explicitly stated than in “The Hero”. While in “The Hero”, t…

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