Dulce Et decorum est - review
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Dulce Et decorum est is a war poem written by a man named Wilfred Owen. This poem was written about a soldier who dies in a hideous fashion. He dies walking back to his campsite, tired, miserable and bloodied from fighting for his country. In his state of weariness he is hit with a gas bomb. He doesn't fit his gas mask on in time and chokes to death. This poem was written with horrifying description of how the soldier died to make the readers think that it is not fit and sweet to die for ones country. Hence the old lie 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria moré' In this poem Owen focuses on the theme of death. He uses 'realistic imagery' in many ways; he wants to make the poem seem so real that the readers can actually imagine walking alongside the troops. In the first stanza of the poem we are told much about the men's appalling conditions.
The metaphor 'Drunk with fatigue' suggests that perhaps the men have become so tired that the have no idea what is happening around them. The words 'blind' and 'lame' also suggest to me that their senses are debilitated in some ways. The suggestion of the soldiers being senseless is backed up with the line 'Deaf even to the hoots of shells dropping softly behind' Another metaphor that reinforces this is 'men marched asleep' this again tells me how tired the men are. You could say were walking almost unconsciously but at the same time not daring to fall asleep in fear of being killed. In Dulce et death is the gas bomb which is thrown upon the men, they are so used to hearing these bombs going off that they do not realise what has happened until someone shouts 'Gas, Gas Quick, boys!' These weary soldiers have suddenly been turned into clumsy panic stricken men in search for their gas masks.
The simile 'obscene as cancer' is their to describe the sores on the mans tongue - anything that is compared to cancer is surely horrid. Owens response to this sickly ordeal is to put people of telling their children it is sweet and fitting to die for ones country, the experience that these soldiers shared showed them that it is not honourable in any way to die at war. Wilfred Edward Salter Owen was a poet; Born in Shropshire and born in March 18th, 1893 and died on November 4th, 1918. Before the war in 1915 he was a private tutor in France, he liked teaching but after visiting some young men in hospital during the war he decided to go back to England and sign up. After some traumatising experiences Owen injured in Somme and sent home, but returned to the war in August of 1918. Just a week before the Armistice Wilfred was involved in a machine gun attack enforced by the Germans and died in action on the Sambre Canal. He was just twenty-five when he died. Dulce Et Decorum est - Wilfred Owen Ciera Freeburn
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