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

Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est" was written during his World War I experience. Owen, an officer in the British Army, deeply opposed the intervention of one nation into another.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Wilfred Owen's poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est" was written during his World War I experience. Owen, an officer in the British Army, deeply opposed the intervention of one nation into another. His poem explains how the British press and public comforted themselves with the fact that, terrible that is was, all the young men dying in the war were dieing noble, heroic deaths. The reality was quite different: They were dieing obscene and terrible deaths. Owen wanted to throw the war in the face of the reader to illustrate how vile and inhumane was really is. He explains in his poem that people will encourage you to fight for your country, but, in reality, fighting for your country is simply sentencing yourself to an unnecessary death. The breaks throughout the poem indicate the clear opposition that Owen strikes up. The title of the poem means "Sweet and Fitting it is," and then Owen continues his poem by ending that the title is, in fact, a lie. Aligned with powerful imagery and vast irony, the author was eventually killed in the very war he opposed. Before his death, he was thought to be one of the best poets of the Twentieth century. War is not worth it, as Owen proves with the lie perpetuated across the world: Sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country. ...read more.

Middle

This allows them to see the cruel reality that the war was for the soldiers. I believe Owen's use of these images are aimed at discouraging the mere thought of war. In the second stanza Owen is describing a gas attack on the soldiers as they are trudging back to camp. Owen describes the soldiers fumbling to get their mask fastened, all but one, a lone soldier. He is struggling to get his mask on but doesn't get it fastened quick enough and suffers from the full effects of deadly gas: Gas! Gas! Quick boys!-An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime... Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. The way Owen describes a comrade watching as a lone soldier is struggling to get his mask fastened awakens the minds of the readers to see the psychological effect that this had on the soldiers. Making the reader see that war is cruel and unjust. In the third stanza Owen is describing the dead soldier. This allows the reader to view war in its full affect: In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that this poet has experienced the war at first hand really makes you think how real this poem is. The reality comes to mind of a lifeless body being flung in a wagon; the fact that this man has nightmares about a death he witnessed contributes to the theme and mood alike. Flashbacks were a huge problem for ex-service men and really shows that the poet is dealing with the sad aspects of war, before and after. The horrible descriptions of post-war effects are disturbing. Take these few lines and realise the non-glorious side to war: "And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin: If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues". These lines are like having your heart ripped out of you as punishment for all the things you take for granted. This poem really shows what men in history have sacrificed to enable us to live the way we do. Phrases such as "the froth corrupted lungs" really makes you think you're lucky you're able to breathe, let alone do anything else. This poem to me represents the fragility of life, basically how feeble we are. Every single word written on these pages and in Dulce Est Decorum Est shows how war is a horrific thing. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    The causes of world war one

    4 star(s)

    The French now counter-attacked and General Charles Mangin became a national hero when the forts at Douaumont and Vaux were recaptured by 2nd November 1916. Verdun, the longest battle of the First World War, ended on the 18th December. The French Army lost about 550,000 men.

  2. How effectively do Asquith's poem, 'The Volunteer,' and the extract from Shakespeare's 'Henry V' ...

    This quote fits in with the thought that scars are a notable accessory and that they will impress people. The men who fought will have the image in their minds that they will be able to show them off to people and feel courageous.

  1. Based on the Poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen.

    In the beginning of the poem the troops were portrayed as "drunk with fatigue." With this you can almost imagine large numbers of people dragging their boots through the mud, tripping over their own shadow. Later in the poem when the gas was dropped, it painted a psychological image that would disturb the mind.

  2. Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori means it is a sweet and glorious ...

    It also shows how young and naive they are to take part in a war like this. They do not have the strength or courage to go on any further. This may cause sympathy within the reader. They may have been blind before when they were told they were going

  1. Compare pre twentieth century poem "The man he killed" by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), and ...

    "Was out of work-had sold his traps, No other reasons why." Then through this, it emerges why the poet joined the war himself. As he talks of reasons for his victim's enrolment, he states a connection between the two. "He thought he'd list perhaps, off hand like-just as I."

  2. Compare and contrast the various poetic treatments of the theme of death in war ...

    The line explodes with exaltation and the mood is noticeably high-spirited. Brooke portrays the deaths of the young men as being honourable and of the eternal riches to be gained in death by using the metaphor of wealth 'the rich Dead'.

  1. Why was Trench Warfare so terrible

    Evaluation of sources used Most of the information I have used came from the internet, including sites such as; www.liverpoolscottish.org.uk/trench1914systems1.htm www.firstworldwar.com/features www.historychannel.com www.worldwar1.com Some came from inference from the books; All Quiet on the Western Front, The Storm of Steel Ernst J´┐Żnger and A Passionate Prodigality Guy Chapman.

  2. This poem, Inspection, was written by Wilfred Owen in 1918 the year before he ...

    He was awarded the Military Cross in October and was killed a week before Armistice Day which was on November 11th 1918. The first paragraph is made up of four lines. It has three people involved, a colonel taking an inspection, an officer and a soldier.

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