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In the poem, Dulce et Decorum Est written by Wilfred Owen, the speaker appears to be a soldier

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Introduction

Shachi Desai 11/12/05 Dulce et Decorum Est Poetry Journal Entry In the poem, Dulce et Decorum Est written by Wilfred Owen, the speaker appears to be a soldier in the army, warning young people eager for war, "children ardent for some desperate glory," that war is not what it seems. The soldier explains to the reader through first hand experience that fighting for one's country is not as glorious a task as it may appear to be. One shouldn't believe the lie that is told about how it is sweet and proper to die for one's country. The poem takes place during a war, while the men are marching and death surrounds them. ...read more.

Middle

Overall, the poem can be classified as a narrative iambic pentameter. The poem begins by setting up the context; tired and hungry soldiers marching on towards a resting point somewhere in the distance. Many of the men march half-asleep, while others are missing boots, bleeding, or limping, but all tired. All of a sudden, the poem changes from past tense to present tense. The soldiers are no longer generalized as a group. A first person point of view is introduced as there are gas shells falling and everyone is alerted. Despite this the weary soldiers are still fumbling around, as if woken from a deep slumber. While most of the men strap on their helmets or what seems to be gas masks, one does not get it in time and he slowly dies. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also helpful in truly understanding the poem is the poet's use of figurative language. Similes comparing the solders to old beggars show how exhausted they must be, so much that they are bent over. "Coughing like hags" helps add to the reader's sense of sound, as one is able to imagine what it must sound, and feel like to be a soldier. "Flound'ring like a man in fire or lime," adds to this effect as well, giving the reader a thorough description of the scene, as does the phrase "as under a green sea." In this way, the mustard-gas filled air is compared to a green sea. The rhyming scheme of the poem gives it a type of rhythm, much like the beat of the marching soldiers. All of these poetic devices which the poet uses help create the effect the poem has, one of fear of going to war. ...read more.

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