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How does Wilfred Owen present the horror of war in 'Dulce et Decorum est'. Compare ths poem with at least two other poems that bring out the horror of war in different ways.

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Introduction

In the First World War people wanted the young men to go to war, but no-one really knew about conditions of the fighting in the war. Wilfred Owen was one of the people who wanted to tell the public what war was really was like. He tried to do that through his poetry. One of his poems "Dulce et decorum est" shows the horror of war very well. We know that Wilfred Owen really does know what he's talking about as he served through most of the war and died shortly before the armistice. I am going to compare "Dulce et Decorum est" with other poems on the horror of war. "Dulce et Decorum est" is short for the Latin saying "Dulce est Decorum est Pro Patria mori" this means, it is a great and wonderful thing to die for one's country. Wilfred Owen tries to tell us that this is the opposite of what war was actually like. "Bent double like beggars under sacks" is how he describes the soldiers returning from the front line. This is not the patriotic view that the public was given. ...read more.

Middle

The rhythm contradicts the messages the words give. The words are telling us that the men are slogging along, that most of them that had been seen by the officer were dead and that "Harry and Jack" were dead. Siegfried Sassoon left a blank line in the poem this gives dramatic pause. It has them walking up to Arras then a blank line then "But he did for them both by his plan of attack." "The General" different to "Dulce et Decorum est" as it focuses on who is to blame for the soldiers dying as opposed to how horrible the deaths of the soldiers were. It is the same in describing how tired the soldiers were and they both give impressions you wouldn't expect, like how the soldiers are moving. "For the Fallen" was written by Laurence Binyon and is probably one of the most famous war poems. It is said in remembrance services all over the world. It is said at the Menin Gate every night. It shows the horror of war in the way that it is almost calm when talking about the death of the young soldiers. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the poem it says "Who said this year they're going to Italy? They won' be going now. She's been away." This isn't the same horror of war that the people in "Dulce et Decorum est" experienced, they experienced the direst horrors of 1914 war, they heard the shells dropping, they saw their friends die; they had to live in the trenches. Modern day war doesn't happen like this so the only people left to witness the horrors after they are dead are the family who have lost a son or a father or a brother. The poem is set out simply. It has two stanzas and has a simple rhyming pattern. I think this gives it a very simple understated mood that you would get when a child speaks to you about their day at school. This gives over the affect that war is only sad for those who understand it. The child who is speaking doesn't really understand the concept of war. I am given this impression because the child speaks of everything else first, and then last mentions the girl whose father died. ...read more.

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