• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen - creitical review

Extracts from this document...


Daniel Stern - English - War Poems "Dulce et Decorum Est" was written by Wilfred Owen during the First World War . Owen explains the problems and difficulties the soldiers had to face each day. The poet describes vividly yet honestly, what trench warfare was like. The poem begins with Owen explaining the feelings of the soldiers whilst they march towards the enemy. The soldiers are scared and frightened due to the lack of hope as they do not know when the terrible war will end. The dreadful conditions have a major impact on the young men and as a result, they look frail and elderly. Furthermore, diseases and general unhappiness were common among the fighters. This was because of the lack of food, adequate shelter and sanitation. However, they most importantly wanted to see their families again. The soldiers were advancing forward when the captain, Wilfred Owen, ordered the soldiers to run from "green sea" which is approaching them and put on their gas masks. All the soldiers instantly have to put on their gas masks, which causes a sudden rush of "fumbling/stumbling" and, unfortunately, "drowning." The third stanza, which is only two lines, emphasises the significant impact this incident had on the poet .The stanza conveys a powerful image in which the man dies, as he was too late in putting on his gas mask. ...read more.


The message from this poem is clear:Owen wants the public to be aware that it is not sweet nor is it appropriate to fight for their country. This is the complete contradiction to the title of the poem. Throughout the poem, Owen is extremely frank and gives an uncomplicated account of what he experienced as a soldier. For example, Owen is eager to destroy the false perceptions that the public have about the war: "My friend, you would not talk with such high zest..." In this line, which is from the last stanza, Owen declares that if the British public saw the obliteration and excessive amount of loss of life then they would not speak so greatly about going to war. Owen is being bitterly sarcastic in these lines because he knows that if the citizens of Britain witnessed life as a soldier then they would no longer be enthusiastic and supportive of the war. I found that this poem had an ability to move the reader through the intense description of destruction and death. The poem is an example of writing graphically yet being completely truthful. Owen does not withhold any information from the reader and conveys what it was like to fight in the Western Front. ...read more.


The rhythm only changed when the poet was stressing the impact the sudden and unexpected gas attack had on the advancing soldiers. " An ecstasy of fumbling....and stumbling." The poem takes the form of a dramatic monologue with a variety of figures of speech weaved into the poem. For instance, " obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud." Both similes efficiently portray how terribly horrifying the dead soldier's body looked. In conclusion, I enjoyed reading and studying "Dulce et Decorum Est" because it was unlike the majority of poems I have read about the First World War. I found Wilfred Owen to be a shockingly realistic and expressive writer. Nevertheless, he wrote an honest poem, which makes it even more appalling since they incidents did occur. Secondly, I feel that the name of the poem was suitable because many readers at that time would have expected the poem to be about the successes the British army had made. However, the poem painted a clear and evocative image of life as a soldier. The pain of this piece of writing is that it actually happened. Furthermore, the reader learns from "Dulce" that war is an ugly, brutal and frightening business, which has caused so much pain and misery of last century. I feel that when this poem was first published that it was aimed at intelligent and sensitive individuals. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. Based on the Poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen.

    Owen obviously was aware of the existing poetic techniques of his day and prior to the war, he wrote in what Norton terms "sub-Keatsian luxuriance" (1909). Owen changed this form to prove a point and to change society's attitudes. It is important to note that Owen could never have changed poetic technique without first understanding what he was changing.

  2. Dulce Et Decorum Est - review.

    It's very sombre, sad and dreary and this is supported by the words: "Bent double" "Knock-Kneed" "Cursed" "Sludge" The dreary and sombre mood is set by sludge. Sludge being the muddy ground on which they have to Tread. Sludge is a strong word because it can have a dark evil quality to it as if it could swallow them up.

  1. The impact of bombing during WWII

    It also shows what an important role the press played in maintaining public morale, as this popular national newspaper would not have been successful if people did not want to buy it. It shows how people could take it, but as it doesn't explain the picture in any sense it

  2. The North Sea

    In recent years, Statoil and Hydro have begun to look at other regions in the world to expand exploration and production activities. The two companies are not alone in relinquishing some their assets on the NCS, notably BP, traditionally a large player in the Norwegian oil sector, sold its 61%

  1. Walking Wounded - review.

    An interesting feature in this poem is the diction used in the poem. The use of onomatopoeia and the alliteratory, play a significant part in imparting the pain and suffering of war. Words like "churning" and sentences like "gruel of mud and leaves in the mauled lane, smelled sweet, like

  2. Compare pre twentieth century poem "The man he killed" by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), and ...

    The use of repetition of words such as "because" and the use of dashes throughout the fourth stanza also adds to the poets guilty feelings. The break up in the sentence indicates that the poet is deep in thought, trying to puzzle out a reason for why he killed this person.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work