Emotions and their Functions in Rupert Brooke’s "1914: The Soldier"

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2018
13 Pages, Grade: 2,7



1 Introduction

2 Structural and Semantic Analysis of “1904: The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke

3 Emotions in “1914: The Solider“ by Rupert Brooke
3.1 Effects of transmitted Emotions in the Sonnet
3.2 Functions of those transmitted Emotions

4 Conclusion

5 Bibliography

1 Introduction

Poems can be considered as kind of art and the poet as an artist. Every written word is a unique medium to transfer ideas, thoughts and feelings as well as way to process certain happenings or emotions while writing them. They can be created as act of bereavement, as proof of love or for example even with the intention of influencing somebody.

Poems are therefore are a highly communicative medium that can entertain, amuse, inform or manipulate the reader. Beside those nearly endless variety of intentions and ideas, they have one thing in common: every poems expresses some kind of emotions achieved through the interaction between form and meaning.

This term paper deals with the poem “1914: The Soldier“ from Rupert Brooke, focusing on the transmitted emotions with their functions and the achieved effect.

The particular language and usage of several stylistic, as well as structural devices in a poem are not chosen by coincidence and in order to understand the included message, a detailed analysis of the poem will be provided in the following chapter (cf. 2.) as foundation for the following studies.

The third chapter (cf. 3.) contains an extensive consideration of the emotions used in the poem and how they are transmitted to the reader. Furthermore, the effects of those emotions and the intended functions will be examined.

Due to the fact, that people are influenceable through rhetoric devices, the following thesis will be validated: The strong usage of positive and patriotic emotions is able to manipulate the reader, in order to present the terrible act of dying during a war as something desirable.

2 Structural and Semantic Analysis of “1904: The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke

In order to understand to intended meaning and the transmitted message of a poem, it is necessary to examine the structural features as well as the stylistic devices. Form and meaning build a strong entity and a detailed analysis will give a deep look into the world of those written words.

The poem “1914: The Soldier“ is a special form kind of poem, because it is a sonnet. It consists of one octave made up of two quatrains and one sestet made up of two tercets. It is axiomatic, that this choice is probably well-considered, because almost all sonnets follow a logical structure, which contributes to the intended meaning, as well as in this one. In the octave, the lyrical subject philosophizes about his possible death and his grave in a positive way, whereas the sestet depicts this spiritual afterlife.

The title suggests that this sonnet is about a soldier in the year 1914, which was the beginning year of World War I. When thinking about soldiers during the first world war, the main idea are basically about brutality, physical and mental torture and rugged countries with destroyed landscape, houses and the whole environment. The sonnet however does not pay attention to those terrible characteristics of World War I, instead it is a positive presentation of the hypothetical death of a soldier.

The rhyme scheme in the octet is abab cdcd. This rhyme scheme creates a pleasant rhythm, that pulls the reader along. It sounds very dynamic and even happy, which contributes to the positive presentation of the topic death. The sestet has the rhyme scheme efgefg, which sounds pleasant and dynamic as well. The sonnet has an iambic pentameter, where are unstressed syllables followed by stressed syllables. This also intensifies the rhythmic effect of the sonnet, it sounds like a song which is remarkable for the reader.

To examine the communicative situation, it is necessary to examine the persona. The poem uses the first-person narrative, as it starts with: “If I should die“ (Brooke 1) and therefore the persona does not tell any story of somebody or something external, but its personal feelings and thoughts. This way of the first-person lyrical subject creates therefore the effect, that the reader is able to familiarize with the persona and feel with it.

There is no clear hint in the poem who is speaking to reader. As the title reveals, that the lyrical subject must be a soldier, it is quite sure, that the persona is a male person, because there were no women fighting in the army during World War I.


Excerpt out of 13 pages


Emotions and their Functions in Rupert Brooke’s "1914: The Soldier"
http://www.uni-jena.de/  (Anglistik)
Introduction to Literary Studies
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Literary Studies
Quote paper
Elisabeth Golisch (Author), 2018, Emotions and their Functions in Rupert Brooke’s "1914: The Soldier", Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/452484


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Emotions and their Functions in Rupert Brooke’s "1914: The Soldier"

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free