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When You See Millions Of The Mouthless Dead Analysis



Author: Poetry of Charles Hamilton Sorley Type: Poetry Views: 1446

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1915When you see millions of the mouthless dead

Across your dreams in pale battalions go,

Say not soft things as other men have said,

That you'll remember.For you need not so.

Give them not praise.For, deaf, how should they know

It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?

Nor tears.Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.

Nor honour.It is easy to be dead.

Say only this, "They are dead."The add thereto,

"Yet many a better one has died before."

Then, scanning all the o'ercrowded mass, should you

Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,

It is a spook.None wears the face you knew.

Great death has made all his for evermore.





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

.: :.

I was writing about this essay for school works and discovered that the 7th line 'blind eyes see not your tears flow' expresses how the body is dehumanised after war and how the recruits were blinded by the propaganda etc. that they didn't 'see' what the realities of war were.

| Posted on 2015-11-09 | by a guest


.: :.

Charles Hamilton Sorley is essentially opposing the view of Rupert Brooke\'s poem \'The Soldier\'. Sorley is a complete contradiction to the sentimental view that Brooke\'s carries. As well as focussing on the language, a reader must also question the fenetics of the words.
The hard \'d\' sounds in the word \'dead\' contributes to the hostility that the poem depicts. While Brooke\'s view on a soldiers death is much more patriotic, Sorley depicts death as being in \'millions\' and \'millions\' is an unsurpassable number. Sorleys poem dehumanises the men by stripping them of their senses; they are \'deaf,\' \'blind,\' and \'mouthless.\' This contrasts with Brooke\'s poem which claims that the soldier will still experience the \'sights and sounds\' of England after his death.
For Sorley, death unifies the men and they become indifferent towards their homeland.

| Posted on 2012-02-16 | by a guest


.: :.

When i heard dis. It touched ma soul. Right in my stomach. It felt, like a mothers slap in da face. A brother can relate with dese dope rhymes. If dis guy had an album, it would go to like, numba 5 in itunes enit. Not higher, cuz its not THAT good...you get me. i mean, bruvs not Jay-Z or ma homie wiz khali. Na\'mean. Anyway bledrins, good night.

| Posted on 2011-12-14 | by a guest


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C.H Sorley is dope! Do this dude got a mixtape out or soemthing? His rhymes are ill!

| Posted on 2011-10-25 | by a guest


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The sheer magnitude of war is complied through the opening line 'millions' the reader is immediatly engaged with both the constant horrors of war but also how futile it can be.... 'Nor Honour' Want more analysis holla? B-dawg

| Posted on 2010-06-07 | by a guest


.: :.

actually, technically shakespearean sonnets have three quatrains and end with a rhyming couplet. so this is not actually a shakespearean sonnet, but a petrarchan sonnet because they never have a closing couplet, although it doesn't have the usual rhyme scheme of abbaabbacdecde it still consists of an octet and a sestet.

| Posted on 2010-02-21 | by a guest


.: :.

to the person who says everyone is an idiot and that the poem is not even about war... actaully it is. it is in the oxford book of war poetry. so how can it NOT be a war poem?
words such as 'dead', 'battalions', 'gashed' etc... sort of give us a clue that its about a battle, not a peaceful deathbed!!!
so back at you: *rolls eyes* gosh! to you too!!!
to everyone else, i agree, it is a shakespearean sonner, and is has short, effective sentences.
there is a sense of claustrophobia and immense numbers is battle from words such as 'millions', 'heaped' and 'overcrowded mass'...

| Posted on 2009-12-02 | by a guest


.: :.

to Posted on 2008-12-16 | by a guest
This is not a petrarchan sonnet because it refers to refers to a concept of unattainable love and should have the rhyme scheme of a b b a a b b a. And the last six lines should make up a sestet and consist of following rhyme schemes: 1) c d d c d d 2) c d e c d e 3) c d c d c d. This poem does not reflect on unattainable love but expresses the lack of understanding of any perception of war or honor when death cannot be prosponed or explained.

| Posted on 2009-09-18 | by a guest


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you guys are all idiots, its not even about war..its about his mother...when she sees millions of mouthless dead when she dies...he wrote it for her while she was on her death bed. *rolls eyes* gosh!

| Posted on 2009-06-04 | by a guest


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Sorley clearly feels bitter towards the futility of the war. His views seem distant for most of the poem but the last line seems to show he felt that the soldiers gained immortality in dying in war- "Great death has made all his for evermore"

| Posted on 2009-03-25 | by a guest


.: :.

It is a petrarchan sonnet, which almost mocks the content by giving it a heroic form when asking that the soldiers be not treated as heroes.

| Posted on 2008-12-16 | by a guest


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This piece was in response to 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke, and urges those who think of the dead not to get caught up in the ideals of the individual epic hero popularized at the time to encourage men to enlist... but to comprehend the sheer scales of lives lost. Normal men who sacrificed themselves, not heroes. It was a shared experience, real, destructive and disturbing- unimaginable to the general public- not a glamorous, exciting adventure; there was no glory in the deaths of these men.

| Posted on 2008-11-14 | by a guest


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'deaf' blind eyes' and gashed head all show the suffering people may have gone through in the war and is some effects of the dreaded mustard gas first invented in war

| Posted on 2008-10-06 | by a guest


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well i don't think it's as sentimental as some people on here have been saying...i think the first poster had it right.
what's interesting to me is that from the title and first two lines, you would expect it to be some sentimental lamentation of the dead soldiers, but sorley throws that expectation out the window. instead of portraying death as the usual grievous oh so sad subject, he is completely indifferent - and i think this gets his point across that war is stupid and not as noble as we take it to be.

| Posted on 2008-09-07 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem is so uncaring, so distant from the intimacy and proximity of death that is ever-present in war. He speaks about the soldiers as if they are numbers or statistics, not people - "Give them not praise ... Nor tears ... Nor honour ... Many a better one has died before".
His attitude towards the soldiers who give their lives is a far cry from the views expressed as popular opinion by the public - it makes the poem quite confronting and slightly unpleasant to comprehend, though still a brilliant piece.

| Posted on 2008-08-26 | by a guest


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In this poem Sorley highlights how pointless war can be. The fact that the soldiers are dead and the war is now pointless to them. They will be marked as heroes and defenders of the coutry but it is all pointless to them because they will never see the difference they made in the world. There is nothing left of them. Even the characteristics in their faces are gone, making them all similar in death. All just a statistic.
He also highlights his disapproval of the authority figures involved in the war. He titles it when YOU see.. highlighting that the people who started the war sitting behind their desks will never see the sacrifice or the rotting corpses pile up. They are literally a number.

| Posted on 2007-08-13 | by a guest


.: :.

In this poem Sorley writes about the futility of war. He shows how the individual soldier gains nothing from fighting - "Give them not praise, / For, deaf, how should they know?". Although the soldier has made the ultimate sacrifice of his life, he will never know what he has done. The reference to "mouthless dead" suggests not only that they cannot talk in death but also reminds us of the mutancy that was a common effect of war. There was so much censorship and frequently, they could not find the words to express what they had been through - which often resulted in mutancy.

| Posted on 2007-06-09 | by a guest


.: :.

In this poem Sorley writes about the futility of war. He shows how the individual soldier gains nothing from fighting - "Give them not praise, / For, deaf, how should they know?". Although the soldier has made the ultimate sacrifice of his life, he will never know what he has done. The reference to "mouthless dead" suggests not only that they cannot talk in death but also reminds us of the mutancy that was a common effect of war. There was so much censorship and frequently, they could not find the words to express what they had been through - which often resulted in mutancy.

| Posted on 2007-06-09 | by a guest


.: Poem analysis :.

The poem is made up of one stanza and the sheer fact that it is written in this large block emphasises Sorley's point that death is overwhelming; thousands were killed and left to rot and we see this gruesome content in the bulk of the poetry.



| Posted on 2007-02-11 | by a guest


.: :.

Sorley’s first way for conveying his theme is through the title. The word “millions” is an almost ungraspable concept for the human mind. It assists in establishing the tone because when “millions” are killed, many feel sorrow. This image is appropriate because war kills many innocent people. The phrase “mouthless dead” conveys the feeling . If a dead soldier were mouthless, he would be considered as deformed. There would be no communication with others on e because he is dead and two because he has no mouth. When a soldier dies, he becomes “mouthless” in the sense that he can no longer communicate with the rest of the world.

| Posted on 2005-05-08 | by Approved Guest


.: :.

The first line of the poem suggests that the scale of the devastation caused by the war was massive. "millions of the mouthless dead" suggests that millions of soldiers and civilians were killed in the war and adds emphasis to the sheer numbers of deaths.

The first two lines, "When you see millions of the mouthless dead/Across your dreams in pale battalions go", suggest that the poet is haunted by horrific images of the war. He says that he can "see" the dead "across your dreams". It seems that he is so much affected by it that the ghosts appear in his sleep in their "pale battalions".

The lines, "Say not soft things as other men have said,/That you'll remember. For you need not so", suggests that you shouldn't waste time saying nice things about the dead because there is no need. It suggests that the living should have praise and encouragement.

The poet suggests that you do not need to praise the soldiers who have died in the war because it will make no difference to them. They would never if they were being praised or cursed.

The impact of using the sort of language like "

| Posted on 2005-04-30 | by Approved Guest


.: :.

This poem is a regular sonnet with a slight twist, instead of rhyming with each other the last two lines rhyme with the previous four lines.

The poem is being told to a soldier who survived the war and it tells him not to think of those who have died at war as heroes. The poem also states that he should not mourn the dead because in their death mourning means nothing to them.

At the ninth line the poem begins to make its main point, stating that we must all simply acknowledge the fact that these people have died, and that even those who you loved and knew well can never be brought back.


| Posted on 2005-04-28 | by Approved Guest




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