The Soldier

This study guide will help you analyse the poem “The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, composition, characters and speaker, language and style, rhythm and rhyme, imagery and metaphors, theme and message.

Presentation of the poem

Title: “The Soldier”
Author: Rupert Brooke
Published in: “New Numbers” (magazine)/ “1914 & Other Poems” (collection)
Date of Publication: 1915
Genre: Poetry/Sonnet

Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) was an English poetry writer who is best known for a series of sonnets related to World War I, published in a literary magazine and then posthumously, after his death in the war. Brooke was also very popular because of his handsome looks which made him quite known in England.


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 


Patriotic feelings are key to the poem, and they are also what influence the speaker’s mild perspective on death. Death is not something to be feared because the speaker is filled with patriotic feelings which make his life less important than his country. England is solely depicted in positive terms in the poem, being associated with a nurturing mother, a lover and a very generous being. Consequently, the speaker feels indebted to his country and finds it reasonable to give his life for England who has given him so much:

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
     Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, (ll. 5-6)...

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The Soldier

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