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"Dulce et Decorum Est", by William Owen and, "Conquerors", by Henry Treece: the theme of the pity of war.Are the poems effective through their poetry or through their powerful message?

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Introduction

Choose two poems which portray the theme of the pity of war. Are the poems effective through their poetry or through their powerful message? "Dulce et Decorum Est", by William Owen and, "Conquerors", by Henry Treece are both examples of poems revealing the horrific and doleful aspects of war. Each poet writes with a different style but both try to convey the reality and consequences of war through their poems. In "Dulce et Decorum Est", Owen graphically illustrates the truth about war. Creating very descriptive imagery and using various poetic devises, he manages to convey that war isn't as glorious as some people may think. This message is spread throughout the poem; however it is strongest at the end. The first stanza describes the shell-shocked and exhausted soldiers trudging through the sticky mud. Owen's use of words such as "bent double", "old beggars", "knock-kneed", "coughing like hags", and "sludge", help to provide the reader with an image of the state the soldiers are in. The carefully chosen compound word, "blood-shod' conjures a very visual and bitter image in the readers mind showing them the awful conditions the men had to put up with. Soft consonants are used to describe the gas, almost giving the phrase an onomatopoeic touch. "Of gas-shells dropping softly behind." ...read more.

Middle

"Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs," This line is so disgusting and horrific making the event, all the more chilling. The use of Assonance is so straight forward emphasizing the revolting scene. "Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues. In the last stanza it talks to the audience as "My friend" changing the relationship between the poet and the reader from the previous stanzas. This gesture is encouraging, allowing the reader to feel more comfortable. The words "children", "ardent", and "desperate" tell the reader that the young boys are too passionate about going to war for the "glory" that they are blinded by what really happens. Owens constant use of imagery does not allow the readers mind to wonder. The last two lines emphasize that war is not glorious or brave. Owen's use of rhyming words helps bring the poem to a finale and also help you flow through to the end. The use of the capital letter in "The old Lie:" enhances the meaning of "Dulce et Decorum est: Pro patria mori." This makes the message stand out very clearly. The intense descriptions throughout the poem are spine chilling and compel the reader to see through the eyes of the poet, allowing them to contemplate the bitterness of war. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reader realizes that the soldiers are starting to regret and the joy of conquering is not so triumphant after all. The "grey child" leaves such a poignant image in the readers mind and it makes you want to stop and think. The horrific picture in your mind makes you think of the innocent children being left to die. The last line removes all the glorious feelings the 'conquerors' would have had before coming to the village. The soldiers forget all about their victory and the only thing on their minds are the families. This poem has a very dreamy, unrealistic feeling to it. The images are very poignant and allow the reader to remember the picture vividly. The message is portrayed throughout the whole poem and leaves the reader to stop and think about it. The poem portrays the cruelty and misery war beholds on people and stresses the love everyone has for their families, no matter what side they come from. Both poems indicate how inhumane war can be. I thought "Dulce et Decorum est" was very vivid and disgusting. The poem illustrated the ugly and brutal reality of war, depicting the horror many soldiers go through. "Conquerors", was more emotional, making me feel a certain amount of sorrow and distress about the consequences of war. Each poem portrayed its message through to the reader using different poetic devises and tones and was successfully able to convey them. 1 ...read more.

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