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Personification Of War In "Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War Is Kind"

901 words - 4 pages

The personification of war in the poem “Do Not Weep, Maiden, for War Is Kind” by Stephen Crane is a major contributor to the elaborate depiction of the negative impacts that come with warfare. The inside speaker of the lyric poem states how soldiers are used to kill other soldiers and their exponentially numerous deaths unarguably affect their lovers, children and families. The complex and recognizable structure of this poem contributes to its meaning by directly affecting the tone. Furthermore, the use of verbal devices and vivid imagery help communicate the theme and verbalize the tragedy that war is.
Initially, as one sees the form of the poem, the structure seem simple with five stanzas and an indentation in stanzas two and four; but as one closely analyzes it, it can be noted that there is an intricate pattern. For instance, stanzas 1 and 3 have five lines each also known as cinquains, while stanza two and four are sestets. In addition, stanzas one and three have the same amount of syllables within their corresponding lines and stanza two and four follow the same rule. The way that the poem is organized makes the tone both melancholy and systematic as if the speaker were a sergeant giving orders to the soldiers or in this case to the maidens, the children and mothers. Another reason why the tone sounds both depressing and formal is because of the regular use of caesuras, specifically at the end of the stanzas where it demands of the family, “Do not weep” (line 4). Since this phrase is repeated four times in the poem it has a strong impact on the tone, given that the phrase is so short and sharp. Moreover, the indented second and fourth stanza are significant because it is in these, that the poetic voice repeats the theme very clearly contending that, “These men were born to drill and die/Point for them the virtue of slaughter” (Line 19, 20). By paraphrasing this passage the reader can conclude that in times of war the soldiers are sent to kill and be killed and that no one can justify these actions because they aren’t honorable.
Sequential to the form of the poem is the verbal devices used to bring the structure and the theme together. The anaphora that is used the most is mentioned in line 1, 5, 16 and 26, it states, “War is kind”. This compressed paradox is a great understatement and in fact means the opposite of what the speaker is conveying, in other words it is verbal irony. The use of this line builds tension throughout the poem resulting in a greater meaning of the work. In addition, death is also a key word used throughout poem....

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