The Man He Killed Flashcards Preview

English lit- poems > The Man He Killed > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Man He Killed Deck (18):

Recall the first stanza (' Had he and I but met '):

Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!


Recall the second stanza (' But ranged as infantry'):

But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
And killed him in his place.


Recall the third stanza ('I shot him dead because — ')

I shot him dead because —
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That's clear enough; although


Recall the fourth stanza ('He thought he'd 'list, perhaps, ')

He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Off-hand like — just as I —
Was out of work — had sold his traps —
No other reason why.


Recall the fifth stanza ('Yes; quaint and curious war is!')

Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown.


What does the pronoun in the title suggest?

Pronoun – distances the narrator from the action (killing).
-The title is in third person while the poem is a dramatic monologue in first person.


What does 'old ancient' in the first stanza suggest?

Exaggerating/ emphasizes how long ago it seems – symbolic of a haven – a time before the war.


What is a nipper kin?

Cup/vessel drinking.


What does the exclamation mark at the end of the first stanza mean?

Exclamation – indicates irony. They probably would’ve been friends in a different/normal scenario.


What does the first line of the second stanza show ('But ranged as infantry')?

Negative – change in tone.


What does 'I shot at him as he at me' mean?

symmetry – similarities between the soldiers. They are both like each other.


What does 'because — Because he was my foe ' (from the third stanza) suggest?

Repetition and dash denotes the regret. Pause for thought and shows his hesitance. He’s trying to convince himself.


When does the tone change?

Stanza 3, the middle stanza, is where the tone shifts. It becomes uncertain. The repetition of ‘because’ and ‘my foe’ and affirmative phrases such as ‘just so’, ‘of course’ and ‘clear enough’ shows the narrator is trying to justify their actions


What do stanza 3 and 4 contain? (hint it a a type of punctuation)

Stanza 3 and 4 contain a lot of caesuras, that emphasise the narrator is having trouble gathering his thoughts. This is in contrast to the other stanzas.


What does stanza 4 show?

Stanza 4 casts doubt on the distinction between enemy
and friend. The narrator imagines the enemy was just like him.


What point of view is the fifth stanza in?

This stanza is in second person, using the word “You”. It suggests the reader/every one else would do the same: it’s only natural. It’s no longer about the narrator’s personal experience but war in general.


What is juxtaposed in the fifth stanza?

There’s a juxtaposition between the violent verb shoot and the verbs expressing kindness: treat and help. Also, the word “fellow” is generally positive, whilst being used in context of being shock creates further juxtaposition.


What is the structure of the poem?

Simple structure: five quatrains of alternating rhyme. In contrast with the subject matter.