Dulce Et Decorum Est Essay Example

Analysis of Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen Essay

485 Words2 Pages

Analysis of Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

In the poem, Dulce et Decorum Est written by Wilfred Owen, the speaker appears to be a soldier in the army, warning young people eager for war, “children ardent for some desperate glory,” that war is not what it seems. The soldier explains to the reader through first hand experience that fighting for one’s country is not as glorious a task as it may appear to be. One shouldn’t believe the lie that is told about how it is sweet and proper to die for one’s country. The poem takes place during a war, while the men are marching and death surrounds them. Throughout the length of the poem, the speaker has a morose tone, as anyone witnessing so much…show more content…

Despite the change in length of the stanza at the end, every other line continues to rhyme, giving the poem a rhyming scheme of ababcdcd. Overall, the poem can be classified as a narrative iambic pentameter. The poem begins by setting up the context; tired and hungry soldiers marching on towards a resting point somewhere in the distance. Many of the men march half-asleep, while others are missing boots, bleeding, or limping, but all tired. All of a sudden, the poem changes from past tense to present tense. The soldiers are no longer generalized as a group. A first person point of view is introduced as there are gas shells falling and everyone is alerted. Despite this the weary soldiers are still fumbling around, as if woken from a deep slumber. While most of the men strap on their helmets or what seems to be gas masks, one does not get it in time and he slowly dies. The man’s death greatly affects the speaker, and now this haunts him. This dead man is now flung into a wagon, and the whites of his eyes are seen. There is blood dripping from his mouth, tasting bitter. The narrator of the poem now warns children that if they were here, they would not believe the lie that it is great to fight for your country.

Wilfred Owen employs sensory language throughout the poem. Words such as “knock-kneed,” “blood-shod,”

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Dulce et Decorum est, by Wilfred Owen. Essay

1204 Words5 Pages

Dulce et Decorum est, by Wilfred Owen.

The First World War was an event that brought to many people, pain, sorrow and bitterness. Accounts of the war shows that no other war challenged existing conventions, morals and ideals in the same way as did World War. Many people touched by the terrror of the war have written pieces of literature about the massacre that was World War 1, wishing people to understand the horror and tragedy that befell those involved. "Dulce et Decorum est", by Wilfred Owen, is one such elegy that presents to the reader a vivid, horrifying description of World
War 1, aiming to illustrate that war is not romantic and heroic, but a senseless and devastating event. In this poem, techniques such as
imagery,…show more content…

He describes the soldiers as "bent double, like old beggars under sacks", "knock-kneed", "limping on",
"all lame, all blind", being "drunk with fatigue" and "deaf". All these descriptions of the soldiers show the reader the suffering they had to endure and the hardships that they had to face. This is backed up by the description that "men marched asleep". This description of the soldiers, of how they "limped on, blood shod" gives the reader an impression that they can no longer comprehend what is going on around them, that they are "blind" and "deaf" to the world.

Metaphors are used to illustrate more vividly the descriptions used in the poem. This is evident in the description of the soldiers as "old beggars under sacks". This not only says that they are tired, but that they are so tired they have been brought down to the level of beggars who have not slept in a bed for weeks on end. In the description "his hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin" Owen compares the gas victim's face to the devil seeming corrupted and baneful. A metaphor even more effective is one that compares "...vile, incurable sores..." with the memories of the troops. It not only tells the reader how the troops will never forget the experience, but also how they are frightening tales, ones that will the troops will never be able to tell without remembering the extremely painful experience. These

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