The Poet as Hero : A Study of the Clash Between the Hero and the First World War in British Trench Poetry, and Its Use in the Swedish School System Within the Subject of English.
Abstract: This thesis studies the clash between the hero and the First World War in the works of Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. It explores the impact on their poetry and attitude towards the concept of the hero as it applied to them as people and poets. The study shows that over prolonged contact with the horrors of the First World War, it is evident in both literary sources and their poetry that both Sassoon and Owen changed their attitudes negatively towards both the idea of heroes and heroism, as well as the War as a just and glorious cause. However, the myth of the hero was still a core belief of their society, and in order to not be branded cowards and discarded along with their warnings, they had to become heroes in the eyes of their society, to openly attack the concept and the war it fueled. This thesis then studies how and why First World War poetry and literature should be utilized within the subject of English in the Swedish School System, as a means to provide a multicultural and critical education.
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