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A poems theme is as strong as a persons’ purpose in life. The theme in a story or poem according to the web is its underlying message, or ‘big idea.’ In other words, what critical belief about life is the author trying to convey in the writing of a novel, play, short story or poem? This belief, or idea, transcends cultural barriers. It is usually universal in nature. When a theme is universal, it touches on the human experience, regardless of race or language. It is what the story means. Often, a piece of writing will have more than one theme. The poems “Dulce et Decorum Est”, written by Wilfred Owen and “Invictus” written by William Ernest Henly share similarities in theme regarding taking control.
In “Invictus” the opening stanza, Henley refers to the “night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole” (L 1 and 2) this night is a great metaphor towards trials and tribulation of the world. The line could definitely be understood at the wariness of the reader by giving the night of negative role or roles or any privation that may surround a person’s whole life, especially the handicap like Henley’s. The second line in “Invictus”, “the pit from pole to pole” is a simple way to bracket the darkness of the night. Henly in lines 3 and 4 states “I thank whatever gods may be/for my unconquerable soul,” has similarities to the title and introduce the poem’s main point.
In The fourth stanza the poem “invictus” lines 16 and 17 are associated the churchs with plan and images. “It matters not how strait the gate” (line 16) , “Scroll,” in line 17, again suggest to heavenly imagery. The strong, fearless end to the poem confirms that, as the decision-makers in our lifetimes, we have authority over ourselves, and a strong line that seems to have a great variety of request for any situation. In context and also if misinterpreted wrong by any means in the poem, has deep implications of control (“master” and “captain”) in combination with it give the final stanza an inherit quality found in all commodity frequently used as words of power.
However, Owen introduces the poem with a slight description of a group of disheatened soldiers running from the front lines of the warzone. The men are obviously tired “Men marched asleep,” the Owen said, with such lack of energy that they are “deaf even to the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly behind” (lines 7–8). Suddenly, a soldier shouts out “Gas! GAS!” (line 9), and then the men decided to proceed into a “ecstasy of fumbling” (L 9) to take their mask off and place their masks on before the deadly poison that surrounded them could take their lives away.
The narrator decides to take a peep out from behind his protective mask into the “green sea” (L 14) that the gas has created around him and his brothers, watching helplessly as one of his fellow soldiers dies in pain and agony.The sight of watching the dying soldier is a sight that can never drift away from the narrator. The reader can see that in these two lines differ from the rest of the poem. the sight of that dying soldier bullies the narrator in his dreams, and the soldier “plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning” (L 16).
The memory thrives and pushes the narrator to extend in the final verses of the poem adding bitter suggestions to the readers about the hands on feeling of warfare and the short hand of blind patriotism. In the last twelve lines of the poem, Owen describes his experience of walking behind the wagon where his dead men where placed and, viewing the corpse froze in dreadful agony of its death suffered dearly. That sight, he says, “would prevent any man from adopting glibly the notion that dying for one’s country is somehow noble