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The Show Analysis



Author: poem of Wilfred Owen Type: poem Views: 15

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My soul looked down from a vague height with Death,

As unremembering how I rose or why,

And saw a sad land, weak with sweats of dearth,

Gray, cratered like the moon with hollow woe,

And fitted with great pocks and scabs of plaques.



Across its beard, that horror of harsh wire,

There moved thin caterpillars, slowly uncoiled.

It seemed they pushed themselves to be as plugs

Of ditches, where they writhed and shrivelled, killed.



By them had slimy paths been trailed and scraped

Round myriad warts that might be little hills.



From gloom's last dregs these long-strung creatures crept,

And vanished out of dawn down hidden holes.



(And smell came up from those foul openings

As out of mouths, or deep wounds deepening.)



On dithering feet upgathered, more and more,

Brown strings towards strings of gray, with bristling spines,

All migrants from green fields, intent on mire.



Those that were gray, of more abundant spawns,

Ramped on the rest and ate them and were eaten.



I saw their bitten backs curve, loop, and straighten,

I watched those agonies curl, lift, and flatten.



Whereat, in terror what that sight might mean,

I reeled and shivered earthward like a feather.



And Death fell with me, like a deepening moan.

And He, picking a manner of worm, which half had hid

Its bruises in the earth, but crawled no further,

Showed me its feet, the feet of many men,

And the fresh-severed head of it, my head.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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| Posted on 2017-02-16 | by a guest


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I think that Hieu should be more smarter.
Great Poem By Owen.

| Posted on 2015-04-13 | by a guest


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I'm sure the grey suits is stanza 7 would be the german soldiers however he is talking about the spawns and the ramping, so here he's talking about the grey as in pests; rats and crows.

| Posted on 2013-10-07 | by a guest


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In response to a guest comment. I am pretty sure that Grey is supposed to be the colour of the German Uniforms; it is repeated again in the 7th stanza: \"Those that were grey\". Hope this helps :D

| Posted on 2011-05-22 | by a guest


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Owen’s poem, “The Show”, is written as if someone not familiar with the environment of the trenches were looking down on the battlefield like watching a show, objective and impersonal, until one moment brought you back to the reality. The area around the trenches are gray and ctatered like the moon from exploded landmines. The maneuvering of the soldiers through the barbwire, trying to crawl to safety, are described as caterpillars pushing “themselves to be as plugs/ Of ditches, where they writhed and shriveled, killed.” This described the hardship that soldiers faced, while running out of the trenches, getting limbs blown off by landmines, crawling beneath barbwire, or running back through it in a panic to get to safety, only to have died inches away. These bodies that crawl until unmoving build up until they create a new barrier to get around. The soldiers watching so close know to go out to help the still living will most likely meet their end. Lines, written that describe the soldiers still alive being eaten by the crows and rats that infest the battlefield. Looking at it objectively until, like someone watching from afar, their eyes adjust, and like gravity, realization comes crashing down on you; those caterpillars are men down there. And one of them could have very well been you.

| Posted on 2011-05-07 | by a guest


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this is by far wilfred owens worst poem.and ur all slags!!

| Posted on 2011-03-16 | by a guest


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can someone tell me the meaning of the line Gray, cratered like the moon with hollow woe?

| Posted on 2011-01-15 | by a guest


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The title \"The Show\" doesn\'t mean entertainment, it is a word that soldiers used instead of the word battle.

| Posted on 2010-10-27 | by a guest


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verse form:
uses free verse with disjointed prose, possibly representing what the dead soldier is seeing from above(with death) as he sees a distorted battlefield drenched in death. It is a lot to take in so the soldier (owen) explains via small bursts of stanzas. Also, the use of half rhyme (assonance) funtions as describing how the battlefield is disgusting all over from top to bottom; "hills", "holes".

| Posted on 2010-05-19 | by a guest


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the men of war are represented as caterpillars as there movements have become subhuman, the creatures are no longer identifyable as men showing there grotesque appearance.

| Posted on 2010-05-13 | by a guest


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Owen utilises poetic devices such as language, imagery and verse form to convey his common message which he describes as; the pity of war. The persona of the poem, accompanied with the personification of death describes the ghastly scenes from an aerial view of the Western Front. The soldiers have been reduced to thin caterpillars challenging pre-conceived ideas about heroic and glorious soldiers.

| Posted on 2010-05-13 | by a guest


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Wilfred compares the battle field to a fermented face.

| Posted on 2009-04-27 | by a guest


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By them had slimy paths been trailed and scraped
Round myriad warts that might be little hills.

From gloom's last dregs these long-strung creatures crept,
And vanished out of dawn down hidden holes.

(And smell came up from those foul openings
As out of mouths, or deep wounds deepening.)

On dithering feet upgathered, more and more,
Brown strings towards strings of gray, with bristling spines,
All migrants from green fields, intent on mire.

Those that were gray, of more abundant spawns,
Ramped on the rest and ate them and were eaten.

I saw their bitten backs curve, loop, and straighten,
I watched those agonies curl, lift, and flatten.

Whereat, in terror what that sight might mean,
I reeled and shivered earthward like a feather.


| Posted on 2007-10-03 | by a guest




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