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Dulce Et Decorum Est.

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Introduction

DULCE ET DECORUM EST In the poem "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen the poet sets out to make clear to the reader his point of view. Wilfred Owen served as an officer during the First World War and so had suffered many ghastly experiences and seen sights that were to haunt him until his death at the end of the war. Consequently, he wrote poems about his war experiences in the hopes they would make people stop and consider the soldiers' sufferings as well as the right and wrongs of war. One such poem is "Dulce et Decorum est" in which Wilfred Owen describes how all the soldiers were trudging back to their trenches after fighting. ...read more.

Middle

Wilfred Owen said the sight haunted him in his dreams: "In all my dreams before my helpless sight, he plunges at me." The men threw the dying man into a wagon to get away from the gas as quickly as possible. The point of view that Wilfred Owen was trying to put forward was that he thinks everyone should know the truth about war - it is not all good and glory. It is terrible with miserable conditions so young boys should not be told the old lie about war : "Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria mori" which means "It is good to die for your country". ...read more.

Conclusion

Metaphors are used to illustrate more vividly the descriptions used in the poem: "old beggars under sacks" emphasising how tired the soldiers are. When the men are reeling with exhaustion and are near to collapse Owen uses the word 'drunk' to show this even though it is normally associated with more pleasant activities. In the second stanza the mood changes from one of utter fatigue to one of frenzied activity and Owen uses the word 'ecstasy' which particularly evokes the men's frenzied concentration when putting on their gas masks. He uses all negative words and language to back up war being a bad thing. I thought Wilfred Owen used accurate word choice and structured the poem well to show his point of view and also to show people the truth about war and the sufferings of soldiers. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This is response is to a question on Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum est', with particular focus on language to convey attitude to war. Although the question specifies a commentary on language must be detailed, it is simply not enough ...

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Response to the question

This is response is to a question on Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum est', with particular focus on language to convey attitude to war. Although the question specifies a commentary on language must be detailed, it is simply not enough for students to comment on language alone - structure and context must also be considered. The latter of the two is evident here, but not in any great insight and so does not elicit a great number of marks. However, the focus is consistent throughout, and very rarely does the candidate make a comment which does not gain even a few marks. It would have been nice though to see the candidate not pick the poem apart as it reads, as this limits the extent to which an answer can be considered innovative and insightful.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is extremely superficial, and there is no real understanding of Owen's particularl viewpoint at this time of his life. He was also very anti-War and antiestablishment, but when writing 'Dulce et Decorum est', Owen was recently released from Craiglockhart hospital in Ediburgh and returned to the front-line in France. It is not enough for a candidate to rattle off any old facts about where he was born and where he was assigned to in the War if it does not relate to the poem. This contextual appreciation is missing from this answer and would've strengthened it had the candidate considered it.
Also, the lack of analysis on structure loses this candidate marks, as the final stanza of the poem is extremely important. It is the section where Owen stops describing the horrors of War and addresses the reader directly, and so to miss this loses many more easy marks. To improve, the candidate should aim to comment on all the poetic devices used by Owen to create the tone and convey his attitude to War with specific reference to his beliefs about fighting consistently integrated throughout.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is very basic, and does very little to challenge itself. Because of this, there are no glaring spelling errors of misuses of grammar, and there is also a very limited use of punctuation. To improve, I would like to see more of a challenge presented to the candidate and that they should respond by incorporating more complex vocabulary and punctuation.


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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 12/03/2012

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