The First-World War

The First-World War was very dramatic. It was dramatic in the sense that there was so much fighting going on that, at first, there were men signing up to fight on their own accord. As the war went on, there was the need for more men to come and fight for their country and to fill the spaces of men who were killed in battle, but since all the ‘men’ had already gone to war, other, younger men or boys were conscripted to the battlefields. This means, that because of the amount of death within the soldiers, men who had no experience in the field of combat were made to go to fight in the war.

The men who had signed up at the start of the war were the older men, the fathers, husbands and workers. The young men who were conscripted to war were about 15 years old at the youngest; this is how the First-World War was a journey from innocence (the state of being pure, free from evil and sin), to experience (awareness or acknowledgement of life). There have been many poems written about war, one of which is The Iliad by Homer. There are many literary devices, such as repetition, personification, metre/rhythm, hiatus/caesura, alliteration and crescendo, used in this poem.

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I am going to describe the uses of these devices on the war poem, The Iliad by Homer. Repetition is not widely used in this poem but there are a few short repetitions in the first paragraph; In the first paragraph, Homer repeats the phrase about a shining star: “Bright as that star… brightest star… ” He uses repetition for the shining star as a comparison of the spear of Achilles, but also uses other comparative phrases to describe it, such as: “So fire flared… burnished, brazen…… heavy bronze weapon… ” The writer uses emotive language to give the poem interest and to keep the reader reading.

Where to pierce it best? The rest of his flesh seemed all encased in armour, but one spot lay exposed. ” This keeps you reading because of the powerful way in which the armour is described and the way the killing Hector is described. The description it is very brutal, and people like to read things that are violent and expressive towards the way the reader sees it in their minds eye, therefore making the reader want to read on and find out hat happens at the end of the poem. There is a literary device called personification. This is comparing a non-living thing, like hell or death, and giving it characteristics.

The only phrase in the Iliad by Homer that I could find was “… godlike Achilles… “there were not many phrases in this poem with the personification device being used. The poem also has rhythm, also called metre. This device keeps the poem moving. The syllables in the words form together to create the beat. “… Hector charged in fury brilliant… ” This is a fat beat because it is a killing or fighting movement of the poem, thus giving the poem rhythm or metre here. The device of using rhetorical questions is used only once in the Iliad by Homer. Where to pierce it best? ” The obvious answer is that the best place to pierce Hector was in the one tiny piece of flesh that could be seen, his neck. You are able to fit your own pausing into the poem due to the wording. “But one spot lay exposed” If you were reading the poem itself, you would be able to add in emotive pausing easily.

The pauses would create time for you to imagine the brutal killing of Hector that took place there. In places alliteration is used. This really places emphasis on the words used. “Scanning his splendid body. ” “Burnished, brazen… These two quotes from the poem are showing how armour and bodily stance in war can be described. The final device used is crescendo. As you read through the poem we hear of how mighty Hector, Patroclus and Hector are. When we come to the actual killing of Hector, there has been a great description of the three men’s armour and posture up until then so it gives us a great feeling of a thunder crash at the very end of the poem when the killer blow is made. All of the above devices make the poem great and add feeling to it to make it more interesting for the reader.