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Poetry Essay: Dulce Et Decorum Est.

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Fred Davis 13806238 English: Fact and Fiction Poetry Essay: Dulce Et Decorum Est Draft Copy The title of Wilfred Owen's famous World War I poem, 'Dulce Et Decorum Est', are the first words of a Latin saying which means, 'It is sweet and Right'. The full saying, which ends the poem, 'Dulce et decorum est // Pro patria mori', means it is sweet and right to die for one's country. This was the saying that was commonly understood and used widely in the propaganda at the beginning of the War. It made war out to be honourable and heroic. Owen shows in this poem, by depicting the horror and cruelty of the War, how far the common belief that war was proud and honourable, was from the truth. In the first stanza we are introduced to the setting of the poem as well as to a few of the horrors of the war. ...read more.


and 'drunk' and 'deaf' (line7). Owen shows how these men's senses had been numbed by the ghastly occurrences in the trenches and how these numbed senses cause the men to not realise they are under attack until it is almost too late. The second stanza describes the dramatic reaction the men have when they realise they have been attacked by gas. The ecstasy of fumbling - shows how desperate the men where to find the odd fitting gas masks, how a mask was the difference between a cruel death and life. Owen compares the unlucky man to someone who has fallen in a fire or pile of lime and is being engulfed by the pain. He is compared to a drowning man; he is drowning in the gas, in the pain of death. The gas is so thick that it takes on a liquid appearance. ...read more.


He compares the mixture of blood and bodily fluids which 'come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs' (line 22) to something which is 'obscene as cancer' (line 23) and as 'bitter as the cud' (line23). He is saying the War is the cancer that has caused this mans death. He asks the reader to try to imagine the 'vile, incurable sores' (line 24) which were left on the tongues - and minds - of the "innocent" (line 24) young "children" (line 26) who were conscripted to the army under the false lure of how " sweet and right' it is to die for ones country. Wilfred Owen portrays to the reader a vivid and horrific picture of war and uses above mentioned imagery to show us the incredible irony and true moral of the poem: that it is not in fact a "sweet and right" fate to die for one's country even though it may be deemed as something heroic and proud. ...read more.

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