• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Theme of the Pity of War in "Dulce Et Decorum Est" and "Anthem for Doomed Youth" by Wilfred Owen

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐How does Wilfred Owen convey the pity of war in two of his poems? Wilfred Owen?s war poetry is used to shed light on the atrocities of war and reveal how war is not noble and glorious as patriotic propaganda portrayed it to be. In his biography, Owen stated, ?Above all, I am not concerned with Poetry .My subject is War and the pity of War. The poetry is in the pity.", this helps us to see that whilst he has acclaimed himself as a poet ? and a brilliant one at that, he is using his poetry as a way to expose the suffering soldiers endured and share his viewpoints on the war. Through gruesome description, rich imagery, and rhythm, Owen successfully conveys his feelings of war and exposes the deep pity that accompanies it. Firstly, looking at ?Anthem for Doomed Youth?, an elegiac sonnet, we see the traumatic experiences soldiers endure and the horrific reality surrounding war. The poem is set during The Great War and employs various techniques to convey the lasting effect on the families of the soldiers after their deaths, but most importantly, it conveys the true nature of war, where soldiers, who are risking their lives for their countries, don?t receive a proper burial and whose lives are treated so cheaply. ...read more.


In particular, the sestet is filled with sibilance, which almost creates a steam like sound, as though the narrator?s life is slowly dissipating into the atmosphere, and slowly coming to a halt, phonetically sounding similar to the way a steam train would have sounded whilst stopping at a station. We see this in the quotation ?their flowers the tenderness of silent minds?. Finishing the poem, Owen installs a metaphor ?and each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds?, This metaphor rounds of the piece nicely because although in literal terms it is talking of the end of the day, we can also see that pragmatically it represents the end in the life of the narrator. For this reason, this metaphor is evocative and ties in to the suffering and pity of war. Another poem that Wilfred Owen uses to expose the truths and pity of war is his famous piece ?Dulce Et Decorum Est?. In this poem, Owen emphasises the dehumanisation and horrendous circumstances experienced by soldiers in the First World War, refuting the message espoused by many that war is glorious and it is an honour to die for one?s country. ...read more.


Furthermore, irony lies in the title, which Owen alludes to in the final line of his poem ?Dulce et Decorum Est pro Patria Mori?. Instead of being a rousing and patriotic call to war, the poem is in fact the exact opposite. The use of ?Dulce et Decorum Est? in the title (translated as ?it is sweet and proper to die for one?s country?) is contrasted to the description of the appalling death from mustard gas. This is done in the attempt to reveal to his audience that war is not at all a great and glorious thing to die for one?s country, like Horace and other propagandists were portraying. Instead, Owen implies that this ?Lie? only brings pain and suffering. Therefore, through his works such as ?Dulce et Decorum Est? and ?Anthem for Doomed Youth?, Owen successfully conveys his attitude towards war and reveals the true pity of war hidden behind propaganda at the time. Through his use of imagery, rhythm and other effective techniques, Owen successfully conveys the true nature of war and allows us to experience the suffering and horrors that he and his fellow comrades alike endured in World War 1. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    The World of words in Wilfred Owens Anthem For Doomed Youth and Dulce Et ...

    5 star(s)

    Plus, it starts with a rhetorical question. With the rhetorical questions, he says that the dead soldiers, or I QUOTE cattle I UN-QUOTE, die insignificantly, for there are no I QUOTE 'passing-bells' I UN-QUOTE for them. Furthermore, he is emphasizing the vast number of the dead by meaning that there wouldn't be enough bells, or times to ring the bells for each soldier.

  2. Peer reviewed

    "With Specific focus on Wilfred Owen poems Disabled, Mental cases, Dulce et Decorum est, ...

    4 star(s)

    used, which in turn emphasizes the top of psychosis caused by the cost of war. These metaphors used on the war's effect on the mind are best captivated in Otto Dix's painting, Schadel, 1924 where it shows a head rotting away, "Baring teeth that leer like skulls tongues wicked?"

  1. Peer reviewed

    Compare: 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke, 'Futility' by Wilfred Owen, and 'Anthem For Doomed ...

    4 star(s)

    Owen himself did not believe that their deaths should be devalued, but he perhaps felt that the sheer number of casualties reduced the impact of the passing of individual soldiers. The link with cattle is also due to the inhumane way the masses of fighters died.

  2. Compare "The Soldier" and "Anthem for Doomed Youth" under the criteria of purpose, ideas, ...

    Techniques Interesting techniques are used in both poems. Brooke uses personification more often; emphasis is placed on England. England is seen as a mother: 'England bore, shaped and made aware.' This person will last longer and will be more valuable because it was nurtured and created by England.

  1. Regeneration - The Horror of Pity and War

    Barker uses realistic references to empathises the horror and pity of the war for example she mentions the skull like mushrooms and the site of the dead animals to show us the state of her characters mind and how war can have this kind of effect.

  2. A comparison of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'and 'Anthem ...

    It also implies the chivalrous code of honour of the duellist and conversely a barbaric enemy who fought war with different rules. The repetition of 'the six hundred' at the end of each stanza reminds the reader of the enormous loss of life, but at the end of the poem

  1. Examine the way two poems by Wilfred Owen show the real horrors of war.

    "Men marched asleep..." An obvious reference of tiredness. Owen implies in this quote above how brave the soldiers had to be to survive this horrific predicament which has been conveniently named war. The reader is once again left shocked because Owen destroys the view that soldiers were gallant and heroic,

  2. A comparison of 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' and 'Exposure' by Wilfred Owen, showing ...

    Owen also uses similes and metaphors very well. In 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' he compares the gas that was dropped on the soldiers to the sea, 'Dim, though the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.' This is for several reasons.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work