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Dulce et decorum est is a well known battlefield poem written by Wilfred Owen.

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Introduction

Critical Analysis Dulce et decorum est is a well known battlefield poem written by Wilfred Owen. It has been written in the first person and the present tense to make the reader feel as if they are actually there. It is in three clear sections, which are eight-line stanzas, rhyming ABABCDCD. It has an extra four lines in the last stanza to incorporate the main message of the poem. It uses many similes and metaphors, which add drama and make it more effective. The first stanza creates the impression of the men being tired and wounded. It describes many afflictions which are normally associated with old age, it is as though the war has aged them prematurely for example, they are now 'knock-kneed' and 'bent double' . ...read more.

Middle

'Many had lost their boots but limped on blood shod; explains that the men's feet are covered in blood, whether this be from themselves or the battlefield The last line condemns the mistakes their own side have made 'Outstripped Five Nines that dropped behind'. The tempo of the poem changes in the second section, as there is a frantic rush to fit gas masks and helmets before the gas reaches them. 'Someone was still yelling out and stumbling' explains to the audience that not everyone managed to fit the masks in time or they may not have one. Fire and lime are two things that can be closely related with death, as they are both used to dispose of human remains, this explains to the audience that the man is dying. ...read more.

Conclusion

The last four lines create a very strong message as it goes against most war poems by not glorifying war but saying it is wrong. It says that the way the war was publicised to get more volunteers, because they volunteered to be heroes, they had not contemplated the harsh reality of war 'Children ardent for its desperate glory' and did not know what they were getting themselves into because of the propaganda used. Also, most of the volunteers were young men, and many of those were still only teenagers. The message 'Dulce et decorum pro patria mori was used in this propaganda campaign and had been widely believed before the war. I think it was very brave to go against this and say it was an 'old lie' not the truth as the government wanted people to believe. ...read more.

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