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The poem " Dulce et Decorum Est " by Wilfred Owen

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Introduction

Dulce et Decorum Est The poem " Dulce et Decorum Est " by Wilfred Owen is a poem describing a terrifying aspect of the horror and misery of war. The poem describes to me an extremely graphic image of the First World War; one of which I am sure will stay with me for quite some time. One of the reasons the theme of this poem was made memorable to me was that it was easy for me to imagine the frontline due to the traumatic, graphic metaphors the poet " throws " in my mind, " obscene as cancer ". Another way this poem is made memorable to me is how the author conveys an image of how tired they are by saying how the " men marched asleep ". ...read more.

Middle

In addition to this the poet describes their physical state aswell as their mental state, both of which are paralysed with exhaustion. " Men marched asleep " once more, Owen extends this idea of men sleep walking with more adjectives such as " blind, drunk, deaf " which shows how the soldiers senses have ceased to function. In the second stanza the men are marching back from the war when they are suddenly attacked with poisonous gas " Gas, GAS. Quick boys ". The phrase " an ecstasy of fumbling " clearly portrays the soldiers panic as they try do don their " clumsy helmets ". The poet then focuses on one young individual who has been unable to don his mask in time. ...read more.

Conclusion

" guttering, choking, drowning " also adds to the effect of the suffering. This makes the reader feel an unease as they imagine a helpless soldier drowning in front of their eyes. Within the final stanza the reader is presented with the body of the young soldier being " flung " on to the wagon like a lump of meat. We see his white eyes " writhe " as the blood comes " gargling " from his " froth corrupted lungs ", suggesting vicious agony and discomfort. The rest of the stanza focuses on these brutal, inhumane images, one of which I found particularly horrifying. To conclude, it is in the final stanza that Owen comes to his conclusion that the propaganda to convince young men to die is a lie. It is neither " Dulce " nor " decorum ", but is painful and repulsive. The propaganda written in Latin at the end emphasises how sarcastic the tone is. ...read more.

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