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Overview[ edit ] "The Man He Killed" dramatizes a battle scene between two men.
The short poem begins when an unnamed character faces his foe. He deals with an internal struggle as his thoughts are regretful before he even shoots.
The narrator muses that, in a different context, he would have befriended the combatant. Nevertheless, he kills the man and attempts to reassure himself by explaining the reasons for shooting him. In the end, he has no real justifiable reason and wonders at how "quaint and curious war is" to make one kill a man as easily as becoming friends at an inn.
Poetic structure[ edit ] The poem is made up of short lines using a simple rhyme scheme and everyday language. These format choices make the poem almost like a nursery rhyme in its simplicity, providing an ironic contrast to its unpleasant subject.
The heavy irony of terms compared to the events narrated in the poem Man he killed in purposeful ways that emphasize the senselessness of how war seems.
There are five stanzas with four lines, following a regular metre and an ABAB rhyme scheme in each stanza. The first, second and last line of each verse is about six syllables long. This gives the poem a sort of conversational tone, setting up the scene and portraying the dark themes of the poem.
The rhyme allows the description to have a surreal quality and brings forth a dreamlike state of the soldier's mind. When the speakers start to think in the next stanza, the meter stays regular but the feeling changes dramatically with the repetition of words, the awkward pauses within the lines, the internal rhyme and the way when it ends with the word although.
The soldier is confused and repeating the word at the end leaving the soldier in pieces. The poem considers the irrational situation of war, and diminishing patriotic motives of the soldiers that meet one another on the battlefield.
Hardy's own class origins were visible in this poem; where his own parents were from the middle and lower class, so that even as a rich and successful novelist, he could put himself in the perspective of ordinary people.
Such as where the man in poem ponders about the motives of war.
Also during this time Hardy and his wife, Emma, did not approve of the South African War like many other liberals- it gave Hardy doubts about the British Empire.
To him, it seemed like the Boers were only defending their homes and land against the English. Overall, it made him question the purpose of killing others for the sake of war. He reintroduces war scenarios such as the feeling of guilt and being immobilized by a feeling.
He also describes and observes characters in close detail, which is consistent with many of his previous poems. Soldiers progressively begin to have a harder time summoning the it-could-have-been-me scenarios of fate that have traditionally provided a warrior's haunted but honorable bottom-line consolation.Watch video · When he heard his name, he was shocked.
Burkman had already met with police in January, when a masked man approached his house in an SUV and hit him in the face with pepper spray. No charges have. “Had he and I but met. One of the most renowned poets and novelists in English literary history, Thomas Hardy was born in in the English village of Higher Bockhampton in the county of Dorset.
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So he penned "The Man He Killed" to reveal the war for what he thought it really was—a messy, seemingly pointless conflict between groups who shouldn't really be at odds in the first place. The poem is piercing in its irony, haunting in its imagery, and more than a little depressing in general.
“Had he and I but met. One of the most renowned poets and novelists in English literary history, Thomas Hardy was born in in the English village of Higher Bockhampton in the county of Dorset. The Man He KilledThomas Hardy Author BiographyPoem TextPoem SummaryThemesStyleHistorical ContextCritical OverviewCriticismSourcesFor Further Study Source for information on The Man He Killed: Poetry for Students dictionary.