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How do the poems ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and ‘The last Laugh’ reflect the attitude of the poet towards the subject of war?

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Introduction

How do the poems 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and 'The last Laugh' reflect the attitude of the poet towards the subject of war? Dulce et Decorum Est and The Last Laugh were written by Wilfred Owen. Wilfred Owen was a soldier during World War 1. He fought on the frontline in Europe for the United Kingdom. He wrote the poems about some of the awful things he had witnessed on the front line. As a soldier he witnessed his fellow soldiers dying in some truly awful ways. During the war your fellow soldiers were like family because you grew really close as you had to rely on each other. World War 1 was a very bloody war with millions of people from all over the world losing their lives for a stupid cause. Wilfred Owen himself was actually killed during the war. In 'Dulce et Decorum est' he tells the reader of the poem in the first stanza about what it was like for the soldiers who lived constantly on the frontline. ...read more.

Middle

I could imagine that seeing something like that happening to someone you know scares you to death. The next stanza is effective to the reader also as Owen addresses the reader, saying what it would be like for them to be in the war and cart off someone you care about. He describes the awful things that happened to the soldier. At the end of the stanza Owen addresses the reader again and says, 'My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.' This translates into 'How sweet it is to die for one's country. So in this poem Owens attitude to the war is a negative one. In The Last Laugh, Owen tells of the many ways in which soldiers died during the war and what they said as they were dying. Throughout the poem He uses personification to describe the sounds that the weapons make as they are being fired or being exploded. ...read more.

Conclusion

The gas is described as hissing. Owen makes the gas sound deadly as if it is a poisonous snake. Owen also describes the death of another soldier. This time though the soldier calls out for his love. As he is doing this his face slowly sinks into the mud. Owens opinion of the war through this poem is again a negative one. In conclusion the poets of the First World War do not know what they are talking about. Wilfred Owen on the other hand does know what he is talking g about because he was in the war and he experienced the brutal horror of what for the soldiers was normal everyday life. Unfortunately Owen was killed himself just a few weeks before the war ended, so what he did write was actually happening to him whilst he was in the trenches. Owen tells it like it is, that war is brutal and how sweet it is not to die for ones country. Jessie Pope wrote World War 1 poetry but she knew nothing about what it was like to actually be there. Jessie Pope's poetry encouraged young people to go to fight and die for Britain. All it was, was just propaganda. ?? ?? ?? ?? Chris Dunn SHK 30/04/07 ...read more.

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