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An Examination of the ways in which Wilfred Owen depicts the horrors of war in his poems " Exposure and "Dulce et Decorum Est."

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Introduction

An Examination of the ways in which Wilfred Owen depicts the horrors of war in his poems " Exposure and "Dulce et Decorum Est." Wilfred Owen now one of the most well known and admired poets of the last century shocked and intrigued the country with his horrific war poetry. The government had fed the country visions of a glorious and heroic war and Owen was one of the first to show the reality of what trench life on the front was really like. Two of Owens most famous poems are Exposure and Dulce et Decorum Est. Each poem gives the impression of the horrors of war and that in fact it is not how the government have led us to believe. In Exposure Owen shows the pointlessness of war and how men suffered so much pain and misery for such a pathetic cause and are used as merely human sacrifices who' inevitable end is death. ...read more.

Middle

Owens tone in both poems is bitter and resentful of the war as for example in Exposure how he repeats the sentences "But nothing happens" and "What are we doing here" showing his hatred and anger of the position he and the other soldiers have been put in. In Dulce et Decorum est there are four stanzas with one short two line verse and three longer verses of about nine lines. The effect of the short two-lined verse is that it emphasises the meaning of the verse and by singling it out draws attention to the fact that the soldier had such a terrible and un-dignified death. The pace of the poem is quite slow and even, which gives a marching effect thus establishing a military feel and a sense of order. Exposure is quite an evenly versed poem with stanza ending with an indented and often repeated particularly powerful line that inhances ...read more.

Conclusion

Owen creates fantastic yet horrifying images of the conditions in Exposure of "merciless iced east winds that knife us" implying using the metaphor of the wind knifing them that the weather is their enemy rather than the Germans. Wilfred Owens poems are fantastically written by a man whose talent was wasted in the war that he so effectively wrote about. His poems unlike so many really have the ability to make you shudder as you are transported to places of sadness pain and anguish. Owen manages to change any previous views you have of war and make you feel ashamed of the days when you would dream as a young boy of fighting properly and not with plastic guns. It is this ability to make you think about war and imagine what it was like that regrettably many memorial services cannot that makes his poems so special and set them apart from the rest ...read more.

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