Grades 6-8 | Analysis | Source Text
Writing prompt: In “Dulce et Decorum Est” and “Who’s for the Game?” each poet presents a strong point of view about war. Write an essay comparing how each poet develops the point of view and what effect each poem is intended to have on the reader. Use textual evidence from both poems to help develop your response.
Your response will be scored on how well you:
“Who’s for the Game?” was written to spur young men to join the war efforts.
Who’s for the game, the biggest that’s
played, The red crashing game of a fight?
Who’ll grip and tackle the job unafraid?
And who thinks he’d rather sit tight?
Who’ll toe the line for the signal to ‘Go!’?
Who’ll give his country a hand?
Who wants a turn to himself in the show?
And who wants a seat in the stand?
Who knows it won’t be a picnic –
not much- Yet eagerly shoulders a
Who would much rather come back with a
crutch Than lie low and be out of the fun?
Come along, lads –
But you’ll come on all right –
For there’s only one course
Your country is up to her neck in a
fight, And she’s looking and calling
Dulce et Decorum Est” was written in contrast to “Who’s for the Game?
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we curse through
sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our
backs, And towards our distant rest began to
5 Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame,
all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to
the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! - An ecstasy of fumbling
10 Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. -
Dim through the misty panes and thick
green light, As under a green sea, I saw
15 In all my dreams before my helpless
sight He plunges at me, guttering,
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
20 His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, -
25 My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori. ¹
1Literal translation: It is sweet and right to die for your country.