Thomas Hardy’s The Man He Killed  » Books  »
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  • For example, in the first stanza, the lines that read We should have sat us down to wet / Right a many nipperkin

    • by Vinayak Ravindran

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      Thomas Hardy’s poem The Man He Killed follows one soldier’s brutal murder of another, and paints a portrait of war’s irony. Interestingly, the theme of the entire poem is somehow quaint with a twist of irony thrown in. One thematic statement is found throughout the poem: a message that people are always people, regardless of the side they choose in wars.

      The title, “The Man He Killed”, is very straightforward

      and suits the context of the story. The speaker kills a man. The title could be interpreted to be from the author’s point of view (that is, the author’s reference to the narrator of the poem as “He”).

      The poet’s use of caesura in the poem contributes greatly to the meaning of the poem. In places, the poet does not utilize caesura at all. This allows the meaning to ...

      • be clearly presented in the poem. For example, in the first stanza, the lines that read “We should have sat us down to wet / Right a many nipperkin!” does not have any sort of pause between the lines. By doing this, Hardy illustrates the speaker as a character that does not hesitate to head to bars and enjoy himself. Later, when the narrator of the poem seeks reasons
        for why the enemy soldier enlisted in the war, caesuras are littered throughout the stanza. This is a vivid reflection of the narrator’s thought processes; he brings up the various possibilities in his mind for a short moment. Almost every stanza ends a certain train of thought and brings up a new one. This is also reflected by the caesuras that present themselves at the end of every stanza.

    nora says :

    please can you answer my questions 1- who is the speaker in the poem? 2-what is the setting? 3- is the speaker identical to the poet? or there is a gep? 4-what is strange about the title of the poem? how can we explain it? 5-what is the theme of the poem? if you answer me soon i`ll be very greatfull thank you very much
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