Bayonet Charge - Ted Hughes

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CONTEXT 
Ted Hughes was a 20th century English poet
His father served in and survived Wold War One
Hughes spent 2 years as a mechanic in the RAF before going to university 
Bayonet Charge was published in 1957

STORY OF THE POEM
The poem focuses on a single soldier's experience of a charge towards enemy lines
It describes his thoughts and actions as he tries to stay alive
The soldier's prominent emotion and motivation is fear, which has replaced the more patriotic ideas that he held before the violence began

KEY THEMES IN THE POEM
Effects of Conflict
Reality of Conflict
Fear
Individual Experiences 

FORM 
The poem uses enjambment and caesura and has lines of uneven length.This creates an irregular rhythm, which mirrors the soldier struggling to run through the mud.
The narrator uses the pronoun 'he' and keeps the soldier anonymous, this could suggest that he is a universal figure which could represent any young soldier

STRUCTURE
The poem starts in the middle of the action and describes the soldier's movements and thoughts over a short period of time. 
Stanza 1 - the soldier acts on instinct
Stanza 2 - time stands still as he begins to think about his situation 
Stanza 3 - he gives up his thoughts and ideals and seems to have lost his humanity 

VIOLENT IMAGERY 
Lots of shocking imagery is used to bring to life the sights and sounds of war for the reader
This helps to strongly convey the sense of…

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