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A comparison of poems by Wilfred Owen, 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and 'Anthem for Doomed Youth'.

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Introduction

A comparison of poems by Wifred Owen A comparison of poems by Wilfred Owen: 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' When I was searching for two poems to compare, I saw these two poems and wanted to explore them to find out how Wifred Owen uses language in different ways to warn future generations of the horror of war. Wilfred Owen fought in the First World War. He enlisted as most young men were doing, so that they could protect Britain. However, in the trenches he realized how horrific the war was and started to make notes about the conditions at first. Then later in a military hospital he edited and collected these notes into the poetry of Wifred Owen. 'Dulce et Decorum Est' is Latin for: It is sweet and fitting (to die for one's country). This line is repeated at the end and by the principles of 'Chaldeni.' I know that by repeating a line at the beginning and the end it is most remembered. ...read more.

Middle

And the march is set to a backdrop of sounds from battle. These sounds include: bells, choirs, bugles, 'wailing shells and angry guns' (personification - Owen personifies the guns but the soldiers are not even mentioned. Owen wants the reader to feel that the artillery in the poem was not being controlled by the soldiers.) 'Dulce,' on the other hand, is written in free verse with an alternate line rhyming pattern. It uses similes such as 'like old beggars under sacks' and 'Bitter as the cud'. Owen's choice of language has a supernatural theme. He uses words such as 'hags', 'devil', and 'writhing face'. These words remind me of a bad nightmare, but this must be what Owen wants the reader to see. It might sound like a nightmare but you will be able to wake up from a nightmare whereas he is talking about life in the trenches and there was no way out for these young men, no way just to wake up. ...read more.

Conclusion

The last line of 'Anthem' - the 'drawing down of blinds' - is the life fading from those who died that day, slowly like the funeral march but ironic as most of the men who died on the battle fields never had a funeral. There is irony in 'Dulce' also - the whole poem is ironic. Owen is saying it is not sweet or fitting to die in battle, to be flung in a wagon with your eyes 'writhing' in your face. Owen uses the idea of irony in war in both of these poems as he saw misery, destruction, and pain and wanted people to be more aware of the cruelty of war and hopefully to stop it from happening again. Both poems have an alternate line rhyming scheme. 'Anthem.' uses the form of a sonnet to portray a distressing message that flows slowly as you would imagine a funeral march. 'Dulce.' also has a distressing message but is portrayed in contradiction to its title. The idea of nationalism, and much it's worth is explored. ...read more.

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