Bayonet Charge



  •  The poem is about a nameless soldier going over the top in the trenches.
  •   Soldiers would have bayonets attached to the end of their rifels and would use them to stab enemys if they are in range.
  •   The soldier starts to become more of a wepon than man- dehumanisation (common theme)
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Bayonet Charge

  • Soldiers are no loger at distance, they are charging (running) to eachother
  • Bayonet= gun with a knife on the end
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1st Stanza

"suddenly he awoke and was running...."

  •  Third person
  •  Throws you into action 
  •  Lots of alliteration of "R" and "H" sounds give sense of hard work and heavy breathing
  • " green hedge" - contrast between warzone amd the 'green hedge' which creates a peacefull rural image.
  • "stumbling" "dazzled"- Verbs, showing his struggle early on.
  • "patriotic tear" and "sweating like moltern iron"- shows juxtaposition, hes gone from feeling like hes fighting for his country to feeling like hes a machiene (hes turned into a desposable item)
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2nd stanza

"In bewilderment then he almost..."

  • 'in what clockwork...' - Hes questioning what is his role in life?, why is he involved?
  • 'running like a man who has jumped up in the dark' - Similie, he doesnt know whats going on 
  • 'His foot hung like... statuary' - Enjambment, hes stopped mid stride, hes turningto stone. The use of enjambment shows hes come to a realisation
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3rd Stanza

"Threw up a yellow hare..."

  • 'yellow hare' - yellow is the colour of fear, hares are pray, Natural and frightend image juxtaposed with his own machine like nature. Possible that the hare is an other soldir shot and scared trying to escape.
  • 'plunged' - Verb imlies hes diving too deep/cannot return he has made his decision to carry on
  • 'king, honour...' - listing key motivations for war
  • 'blue crackling air...' - atmospheric description 'crackling' gives element of danger to the verse
  • 'His terrors touchy dynamite' - metaphore + consonance of 'T' sound, emphisises adrenaaline and rush almost animal like reactions.
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