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The significance of imagery and vocabulary in 'Disabled' and 'Dulce et Decorum est' by Wilfred Owen

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Introduction

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF IMAGERY AND VOCABULARY IN 'DISABLED' AND 'DULCE ET DECORUM EST' BY WILFRED OWEN 'Disabled' and 'Dulce et Decorum Est' are war poems by the poet Wilfred Owen. Imagery and vocabulary in both of these poems are significant in representing mood, atmosphere and purpose. By using metaphors, similies and other forms of creating imagery, the poems are made accordingly emotive, and easier to comprehend as they enhance the readers interpretations by drawing on the readers senses. By analysing the poems we can see the evidence for this, and by imaging alternatives to particular phrases and words, we can see how the effect and meaning would be altered or at least lessened. 'Dulce et Decorum Est' has high amounts of imagery and language in it, and it is a poem to shock to the shock the reader into a state of pity rather than a poem that demands pity. The first stanza begins with a metaphor and similie, which give an appalling portrait of men in a wretched condition, far from the youth and beauty that they should have. It immediately sets the scene in an atmosphere of shocking conditions. By comparing them with 'old beggars under sacks' we not only realise that the soldiers are fatigued and dishevelled, but also that ...read more.

Middle

The third stanza is only two lines long, and the words used sound like their meaning: 'guttering, choking, drowning'. This stanza tells us about the aftermath in the light of a recurring nightmare of terrible images that are unlikely to be forgotten. The fourth and final stanza is written in a way that you can interpret the poet's feelings to be those of anger and frustration by his addressing the reader. It is an attack on the people who send men and boys to war, and those at home who believe or teach others that war is glorious and noble. This stanza directly approaches the subject with words such as 'smothering', 'white eyes', 'writhing', 'devil', 'sin', 'gargling', 'froth-corrupted', 'bitter', 'vile' and 'incurable'. These comprise the poets concluding atmosphere, and give a harsh and effective tone. Without words such as these, the extent at which the poem shocks would not be as great. The revolting surroundings and story would come across differently, and the poem would be expressed and interpreted differently. Therefore, after placing concentration on the imagery and language, we can see that this poem, without the vocabulary and references that is has, would not quite be the same, and therefore the significance of vocabulary and imagery is great, and plays a large part in the poem's level of influence and power. ...read more.

Conclusion

is bitter about no one person thanking him for his service, and the fact that the man who 'thanked him' said it almost in gest, and out of an attempt at politeness rather than truly meaning it. The last stanza has no imagery and is a plain summary of the young mans future, and ends with him questioning when he will be taken away from the pain of viewing all that he craves and can no longer be a part of. Disabled has less imagery than 'Dulce et Decorum Est' but the language used in it is significant in giving it its bitter, sorrowful and empty eminence. To conclude, the words used in both poems all give a certain characteristic to the poems, and so it is important to choose words that are properly representative, which is why it is so significant. The imagery too makes up a large part of the poems efficiency and purpose. The most evident examples are use of colour to create the mood, and imagining the poem without such aspects as colour and symbolism, the poem becomes harder to relate to. Consequently I personally find that the choice of vocabulary and the use of imagery is highly significant in the poems 'Dulce et Decorum Est' and 'Disabled'. ANJUM SHABBIR ...read more.

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