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Wilfred Owen

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Introduction

Wilfred Owen Wilfred Edward Salter Owen, born 1893, was a British poet during the First World War, He wrote poetry from an early age and was inspired by religion. In 1913 he went to France to teach English and on returning he decided to enlist in the army to fight in the World War. He entered the war in 1917 and fought in the battle of the Somme but was hospitalized for shell shock and met Siegfreid Sassoon (a poet) and his works were in harmony with Owen's concerns. In the poem 'Dulce et Decorum est' the soldiers are marching hopelessly and desperately back to their 'distant rest'. The men are positioned amongst the bombardment of German flares and shells dropping as they suffer a gas attack. Owen describes the men's panicking as one of the men fails to put on his gas mask in time. Owen uses this incident to challenge the suffering in the war. Shown in ; "Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots of tired outstripped five-nines that dropped behind" The opening of 'Dulce et decorum est' instantly brings an ...read more.

Middle

He tries to give the reader an experience of being 'Behind the wagon that we flung him in' At the end of the poem Owen challenges 'the old lie'; 'Dulce et decorum est' which is written in latin which describes that it is sweet and becoming to die for ones country. Owen does not wan the war to be told passionately to children for the sake of 'desperate glory'. During this time in the war Owen wrote many other poems one of which was 'Exposure'. In the poem 'Exposure' soldiers are out on the front line and suffer the freezing weather and powerfull winds. The soldiers are dying of exposure as the weather wears the men down physically but also mentally. In the first stanza of the poem; "Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive us... Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent...." Showing that the soldiers are 'knifed' by the winds and 'wearied' because the night is silent. In the first sentence the clustered 's' sound gives the feeling of a sharp wind. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the forth stanza the "sudden successive flight of bullets streak the silence' giving the stanza alliteration. The constantans are crammed together giving no real rhythm creating a feeling of exposure and frantic streaks of bullets. The 'flight of bullets' ends in silence as demoralizing as bullets themselves. This stanza also comes to a halt when the 'sidelong flowing flakes that flock, pause, and renew' but still 'nothing happens' as the soldiers are hypnotized by the snow. The soldier's minds look for reality but instead are 'snowdazed' as the 'fingering stealth come feeling for our faces' The men have no where to go so they 'cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams' they are defenseless and are near to death. Owen demonstrates this in the rhyme in 'snowdazed/sundozed as the men suffer exposure more and more. The soldiers begin to pray for god even more however there 'love of god seems dying'. 'Dulce et Decorum est' and 'Exposure' are linked through a use of dream like images. In Exposure the death is the result of weather than war however also questions religion. ...read more.

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