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'Owen makes remarkable poetry out of the greatest human tragedy of the twentieth century'. Discuss 3 or 4 of Owen's poems in the light of this statement, concentrating equally on theme and technique.

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Introduction

Year 12 - PES English Poetry Essay Question - Wilfred Owen 'Owen makes remarkable poetry out of the greatest human tragedy of the twentieth century'. Discuss 3 or 4 of Owen's poems in the light of this statement, concentrating equally on theme and technique. Wilfred Owen is able to emphatically depict the devastation of World War One as the greatest human tragedy of the twentieth century. Owen, through his poems was able to effortlessly prompt deep emotion in the reader through his individual style and his use of eloquent themes. In the poems 'Dulce et Decorum Est', 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' and 'The Send Off' Owen reinforces the main theme of the tragedy of war. Owen achieves this by the utilization of techniques that recreate the potent and disturbing scenes of the arena of battle. Owen, writing as a primary source, witnessed the deadly battles and had experienced the true destruction of war. As a result of this, his poetry is most remarkable as he writes with an honesty that other poets could not achieve. The use of powerful imagery and language, similes, rhyme, alliteration and personification assist in making Owen's poetry truly outstanding and poignant, as a direct result of the horrors and realism that came from an extremely shocking event, World War One. ...read more.

Middle

He writes as if the situation is occurring right then, drawing the reader into the scene. Owen's ability to place the reader in the scene of the battlefield not only with his visual description but with the usage of phrasing that is both direct and associative makes the poem incredible. He also relates the theme of fatigue with drunkenness, something that people experience and are able to associate with how the soldiers would have being feeling. Owen draws the reader into the language by using colloquial terms that make reference to common experiences, which allow the reader to comprehend in a simplistic method which helps explain the brutality of war and brings a familiarity and directness to his technique. In the poem 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' Owen criticizes the people who support the war and who are unaware of its true destruction. This powerful theme was also apparent in 'Dulce et Decorum Est' as both poems contain similar themes and techniques and question the true sacrifice of young lives. The title of the poem is very poignant and indicates the meaning of the poem, of the doomed future that the young soldiers who go to war will face. ...read more.

Conclusion

Owen uses the convincing argument of the futility of war as the main basis of the poems and it is through this that Owen questions the reason behind the Great War and the authorities who support it. Owen reveals the worthlessness of war but he does this through the use of strong imagery and comparisons and in the process force the reader to question the true reasons behind war. Wilfred Owen accepted the tragic situation of World War One and expressed the true realism and cruelty of war through his thought provoking poetry. In 'Dulce et Decorum Est', 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' and 'The Send Off', Owen was able to create magnificent imagery that not only forces the reader to empathize with the poems and their characters but also to persuade the reader that war is tragic, unnecessary and should never be glorified. Owen's poetry is remarkable because his is able to associate the greatest tragedy of the 20th century with the reader, we hear, feel and see the poems; Owen has the ability to take these events and not just describe them to the reader, but shows the shocking brutality and devastating effects of war. His poetry influences, and leaves a lasting and memorable notion in the mind and this makes his poetry truly remarkable. Ben Fromm ...read more.

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