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The poems Dulce et decorum est, The Send-off and Anthem for Doomed Youth were all written by Wilfred Owen in response to his experience in WWI. Examine the views and attitudes the poet conveys in at least two of the poems.

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Introduction

Saturday, 08 February 2003 Helen White The poems Dulce et decorum est, The Send-off and Anthem for Doomed Youth were all written by Wilfred Owen in response to his experience in WWI. Examine the views and attitudes the poet conveys in at least two of the poems. The two poems Dulce et decorum est and Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen are both set during the First World War and Owen uses them to express his feelings and attitudes towards war. In Dulce et decorum est he describes a gas attack, using vivid imagery to describe how it sill haunts his dreams whereas in Anthem for Doomed Youth Owen is criticising the way that soldiers were buried on the battlefield. The title 'Dulce et decorum est' is a phrase that was written by the Roman author Horace and is also used in the last two lines of the poem: "Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori" This phrase means "that it is sweet and fitting to die for your country" but in the poem Owen contradicts this by using words such as "old beggars", "hags" and "cursed." He does this to convey the image of war and to inform the reader that the phrase is not true, showing his negative viewpoint towards war. ...read more.

Middle

The line "My friend, you would not tell with such high zest," refers to Jessie Owen a female poet who wrote popular patriotic verse during the First World War. Owen's tone is mocking, in contrast to the negative tone of the rest of the poem, asking why she thinks war is glorious when she has not experienced it as she has no idea what it was like, the intention of his poems being to shock enthusiastic people such as Pope and show people the real horrors of war. He also does this by using the word "children" in the next line which is intended to make people feel guilty about glamorising war. The last line refers back to the title "Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori." Owen say that this is a lie and that it is a crime for people to say this as they have never experienced war. He seems to be confused as to why people would want to lie about it. The second poem Anthem for Doomed Youth is also about war and the effect that it has on people who suffer it. The poem was also influenced by Owen's experiences at war, it was written after he had been sent to Craiglockhart with shellshock and had met Siegfried Sassoon another poet who wrote about the horrors of war and influenced Owen's work. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both of the poems have an alternate rhyming scheme this can be seen in Dulce et decorum est "sacks" and "backs" and in Anthem for Doomed Youth "cattle" and "rattle." However in Dulce et decorum est although there is a rhyme scheme there is no pattern which would make it run smoothly whereas the sonnet form in Anthem for Doomed Youth makes it run slowly like a funeral march. In both poems Owen appeals to the reader's sense of hearing "gargling" "wailing" and by doing this is able to show how horrific war was to him. Also in both poems Owen shows the reader's his views by conveying the helplessness of the people portrayed, both the soldier drowning in the gas attack in Dulce et decorum est and the "doomed youth" in the title of the second poem, knowing what was going to happen but not being able to do any thing about it. In conclusion I feel that both of these poems are effective in the way that they convey the realism of war in contrast to the glamorised version portrayed by some poets at that time and although they are both by the same poet they show the different emotions shown by people during the First World War challenging the ideas of the other poets of that time who had not experienced it. ...read more.

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