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Dulce et Decorum Est Poem Analysis

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Introduction

Dulce et Decorum Est Poem Analysis The poem ?Dulce Et Decorum Est? was written by Wilfred Owen during World War One. It?s a very anti-war poem and portrays an unseen version of war, the horrible part of it. It was one of the many poems that were not published until after the war as it hardly belonged amongst all the smiling soldiers in the propaganda posters. It centers around the retelling of a gas attack - one of the battlefield methods that were common in Owen?s day ? and how a soldier didn?t get his helmet on in time. The title ?Dulce Et Decorum Est? is a part of a common phrase that was tossed around a lot during Owen's time, which loosely translated into English means, ?It is sweet and fitting?. The soldier?s death is barely ?sweet and fitting? which is why the title is very misleading and ironic. The poem consists of four stanzas. Owen starts the poem by describing the state of the soldiers, again very different than the clean, healthy men in the posters. It seems to the reader that every aspect of the soldiers was damaged ? physically, mentally and spiritually. The simile Owen uses ??like old beggars? in my opinion is one of the very effective images in the poem. ...read more.

Middle

He may also feel guilty as he describes himself as ?helpless?, another reference to drowning, where the observer is in a state of shock and helplessness at first. The three alliterative words at the end of the stanza ??guttering, choking, drowning? help the reader understand the metaphor more and empathize with his pain. And the final fourth stanza continues the tale, exposing even more gory details of the attack, its aftermath and its sheer ferocity, again leaving deep impacts on the reader. Owen begins by addressing the reader, inviting him/her into his ?smothering dreams? ? indicating that the nightmares he had he couldn?t escape and they were suffocating him ? and asking them to walk in his shoes ??behind the wagon we flung him in?, the verb ?flung? I think very disturbing, implying that the soldier who had had a whole life ahead of him was just another lifeless body, worthless to them now. And then comes another strong metaphor ??like a devil?s sick of sin? which Owen uses to describe the soldier?s dead face. It could suggest that, like a devil realizing his mistakes at the door to hell and wishes to escape it at the last minute, the soldier when at the border between life and death begins to wish he could escape the battlefield and return to his home and to his loved ones. ...read more.

Conclusion

And that I guess is how every soldier feels about war. You kill your enemies, not because you’re right and they’re wrong – everyone’s wrong in war. No, you kill them to defend your country, your home. To defend your friends and family. To live free. I loved the poem. The bluntness of it invokes revulsion and hatred towards every aspect of war. I loved how Owen is shoving the truth of war into the faces of the naïve population, who don’t know its reality or pretend it’s all fine and dandy. The tone of outrage and disgust with war (and with those who support it) is sustained by the speaker’s invitation to the reader to watch—something the reader clearly is not naturally inclined to do. It’s as if the poet is holding the horror of war up to our faces and making us look. Personally, I share Owen’s confusion. I would defend my country; I would die for it if I had to, because you just can’t sit back and watch people you are connected to some way or another die. But I also think that war is useless, that it’s a never ending cycle of keeping the Earth’s population under control. It affects everyone, few in a good way, most in a bad one. But I believe that like in Pandora’s Box hope came out after everything else did, I think there is still some hope left for the human race, that we aren’t all doomed – yet. ...read more.

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