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Dulce et Decorum Est

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Dulce et Decorum Est Dulce et Decorum Est is about a World War One soldier's horrific experiences on and off the battle field. This soldier witnessed a comrade die in a gas attack and was mentally scarred. He, after enduring the pain and harsh realities of war, challenges Horace's old saying; dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. The first stanza sets the scene for us as it describes the conditions the men fought in, and their feelings. The emotionally drained, exhausted men are making their way to the trenches, looking for some form of rest. The poet compares these worn out soldiers to 'beggars' and 'hags'. I think that 'bent double, like old beggars under sacks', is a really good simile that explains that the men are so tired that they can't even stand upright and they resemble beggars, in that they haven't slept in a bed for days. The simile 'coughing like hags', was used, because the men who went into battle were relatively young, yet after they fought a battle they looked old and ugly, hence hag. ...read more.


'An ecstasy of fumbling' The word ecstasy seems odd in this context, as we use it to describe a feeling of extreme happiness. The word ecstasy also means a state of mind, when it has only one objective, in this case, get their gas masks on, in order to keeping on living. 'As under a sea of green' The poet could have described the gas attack as a sea, because of how it felt to be looking through a mask, like a diver would under the sea. He could also have used the word sea, referring to the affects of the gas, which literally makes the men drown in their own blood. The third stanza explains the memories the poet has of the incident, in the form of recurring nightmares. I like this stanza, as it is a couplet and it gives you vivid detail of how the soldier was slowly dying. 'Guttering, choking, drowning' This phrase is an example of consonance. ...read more.


I think that the poet is trying to say that even the devil would have found it repulsive. 'Innocent' This word tells me that the poet thinks that the soldiers are simply young men who didn't start the war, but only fought because they had to. When I first read this poem I didn't understand some of the phrases and similes the poet used, but when I read it again I started to realise the depth of their meaning. I liked this poem a lot as I was able to visualise what the poet had experienced. What I find ironic is that, to the people who have never been to war the old saying; dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, is true, but to the men who have actually been there they say the opposite. Another thing that is quite strange is, that in this poem the poet describes the soldiers as weak, tired and decrepit men, as opposed to the stereotyped soldier we all know and believe to be strong, proud, heroic, loyal and brave. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sonya Lam 9R 1 English ...read more.

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