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Has your soul sipped: Context

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1 Has your soul sipped: Context
Owen wrote this poem in Craiglockhart (war hospital) in June 1917, and show his first experiments in sustained parahyme. This was just before Owen met Sassoon. During this time the Archbishop of Canterbury had stated that “love your enemy” was wrong to follow, at a time of war. Owen therefore felt confused by this statement and wondered if Christianity had died. Although even though Owen was a strong Christian, he wanted revenge on the enemy.

2 Has your soul sipped Plotline:
the poem “Has your soul sipped” is all about the sense of happiness that the persona that Owen created feels about killing someone at war (most likely an enemy solider). This sense of happiness is shown through the kind of lexis that Owen had used for example “sweetness”, “sweets”, “love” and “smiling”. The persona feels a sense of victory and power by killing this person “...or the proud wound the victor wears” here he goes as far to say that he feels very proud of the wound that he gave the enemy solider. Even though killing someone isn't something to be proud of during the war some people felt happy and the feeling that they achieved something. Also the reason why so many men joined the army during the war is because they thought they had to stand up and protect their country and by killing an opposing solider they felt as though they have protected their country in one way or another There are also a lot of negative lexis that is used for example “bitter”, “blood”, “death” and “murdered” This shows a really strong contrast between the lexis chosen to represent “sweetness” and the negative lexis chosen. The first few stanza’s in the poem tell us

3 Stanzas 1-3 Connotations of death, foreshadows what happens later in the poem. This feeling is greater than anything else you could possibly feel. Constant repetition of the ‘s’ creates a sadistic sound and shows the sadistic side of Owen. Shows the withdrawal Owen is feeling. He is hungry to feel that “sweetness” again. No control over this feeling A feeling he didn't think he could enjoy, but does. Sadistic Themes Pleasure Despair Withdrawal Parahyme Uses words found typically in poems, but contrast with war imagery. Rose has connotations of love and death (placing a rose on a grave)

4 Stanza 4 Sweeter than nocturnes Of the wild nightingale Or than love's nectar After life's gall. The lexis “sweeter” is repeated as the first word in stanza’s 4,5 and 6 A nightingale creates a birdsong through the night and creates a bittersweet image because it is the man that's singing Natural image: one of victory as it overcomes something bitter This links to soldiers singing during the war to keep their hopes up In this whole stanza the persona is talking about how this feeling is so much superior than other feelings he’s felt. He’s describing all these other things like “sweeter than nocturnes......” and how the is better.

5 Stanza 5 References to senses Living is opposite to dying creates a very strong contrast Sweeter than odours Of living leaves, Sweeter than ardours Of dying loves. Alliteration This stanza is also another stanza where the persona is describing the happiness he’s feeling Another reference to death

6 ‘Has your soul sipped’ Stanzas 8-11

7 Or the sweet murder After long guard Unto the martyr Smiling at God;
Definition of wan: pale and giving impression of illness or exhaustion. Stanzas (8-11) Or the sweet murder After long guard Unto the martyr Smiling at God; To me was that smile, Faint as a wan, worn myth, Faint and exceeding small, On a boy's murdered mouth. Though from his throat The life-tide leaps There was no threat On his lips. But with the bitter blood And the death-smell All his life's sweetness bled Into a smile Juxtaposition of the words ‘sweet murder’. Use of deixis as reader will want to know how and why this murder is sweet. A oxymoron ‘sweet murder’ How Owen uses this to contrast extremities of ‘death’. God could be the persona of poem, as he has taken the boys life therefore Owen has earned his place in heaven, so the boy is now smiling at him because he knows that he can now go to heaven for sacrificing himself for his country. The purpose of these stanzas: To contrast the first few stanzas about the unidentified ‘sweetness’, to make the reader realize that then sweetness is of the death of a young boy from the opposition. You get an impression that Owen wants you to understand that you should be motivated for fighting for your country and feeling pride in killing the oppositions. The use of body parts- the source of communication and expression Repetition of the lexis ‘faint’ which tells the reader how weak the boy was and everything and like his life is fading away. Death Main themes Conflict Despair The use of plosive letters ‘bitter blood’ imitating the blood as being shaped as his smile. ‘bled’ Loss of innocence This is giving the reader imagery representing death as a smell and connotes a battlefield full of dead soldiers.

8 Juxtaposition/ contrast – positive and negative
Themes: ‘Murder’ ‘Wild nightingale’ ‘Mourning’ Nature Leaves How are they linked? Death ROSE Moon SOUL Nectar Dying Martyr BODY PARTS? interpretations blood mouth Soul lips The contrasts of the different themes help to form a general interpretations. Juxtaposition/ contrast – positive and negative

9 Positive Negative Senses/feelings purpose sweetness
Juxtaposition of death and nature. Unnatural death (war) contrasted with nature – intriguing. God smiling Positive proud dearth Negative mourning Life's gall dying Bitter blood Rays of the rubies soft Love dreams effect wound pride Senses/feelings Scent – odours of leaves Nectar - taste Sight – rubies sunrise Death smell Bitter blood Exceedingly small hungers reflection purpose engage educate interact Helps set the tone and mood of the poem insight

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