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GCSE English Literature - Power and Conflict Poetry AQA > Bayonet Charge > Flashcards

Flashcards in Bayonet Charge Deck (20)
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Where was Ted Hughes born and where did he grow up?

Ted Hughes was born in Yorkshire and grew up in the countryside.


How many years did Hughes serve in the RAF.

Two years.


What did Hughes study and where?

Hughes studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University


When and how long was Hughes Poet Laureate for?

Hughes was poet laureate from 1984 until his death from cancer in 1998.


What does the poem focus on?

A nameless solider in the First World War


What does the poem describe?

The experience of 'going over-the-top'.


What were soldiers hiding in trenches ordered to do?

'fix bayonets' (attach the long knives to the end of their refiles) and climb out of the trenches to charge an enemy position.


What was the aim of 'fixing bayonets' and charging?

To capture the enemy trench.


In terms of 'fixing bayonets', what does the poem describe?

How this process transforms a solider from a living thinking person into a dangerous weapon of war.


How many stanzas is the poem written in?

Three stanzas.


What is suggested by the poem being filled with words and images?

Thick mud - appropriate for a poem whose main theme is about a man running across a muddy field carrying a heavy gun.


What is the shown through the varying lengths in lines?

The quick and slow progress of the soldier.


What is the first stanza about?

Action and running.


What is the flow of the poem broken by?

The use of dashes '-'.

This shows how the solider is waking up to what is happening and slowly starting to think.


What is the effect of the caesuras in the second stanza?

The second stanza appears to happen in a kind of slow-motion.


What is the effect of the repetition of 'h' sounds in the first stanza?

It expresses the solider's heavy breathing.


What does Hughes dramatise in the poem?

The struggle between a man's thoughts and actions.


What does the first stanza show?

A solider that is instinctively obeying orders.


What does the second stanza show?

A solider having moments of clarity when he thinks about what he is doing and time seems to stop still.


What does the third stanza show?

That in the end, all high moral justifications such as king and country, have become meaningless. He himself becomes a form of human bomb, not a person but a weapon of war.