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Commentary on Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

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Introduction

Commentary on Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen is a famous poem from the first world war. It is devided into three parts of which each has it's own role. In this analysis I will cover the three sections separately, mainly focussing on the atmosphere and the feelings amongst the soldiers. Of each part I am going to describe how Owen has used several language aspects to communicate these to the reader. One of the elements described in the first stanza is the fatigue of the suffering soldiers. The young men are compared with 'old beggars under sacks' and 'coughing (like) hags' (ll. 1-2) which shows that they feel physically broken . This simile is one of contrast because the men arriving on the battefield were young and strong. ...read more.

Middle

Like in line four where the calming word 'rest' is preceded by 'distant' which shows that it's still too far away to have. The situation in the second stanza is in complete contrast with the way it seemed to be in the first one. The second part starts with a sudden explosion of energy. Inmidiately in the first line the words 'Gas! GAS!' (line 9) are being cried out. The exclamation marks and the use of capital letters indicate that the words are being shouted out loudly. Then an 'ecstasy of fumbling' (line 9) follows which implies that there is a lot of movement. This first line is characterizing for the first half of the second part because it is full of action whereas the first part was one of rather static description. Another alteration which occurs in the second stanza is the change from 'we' (eg line 2) to 'I' (line 14). ...read more.

Conclusion

The atmosphere in the third part is not just eerie but truly gruesome. This is mainly caused by the diction which create revolting images. For example in line 19 the word 'writhing' is used. It's effect is further strengthenth by the alliteration 'watch the white eyes writhing'. Another line which has a strong effect is number 22 'come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs'. In this phrase the combination of the words with the same digusting connocation causes the horrible images. After that part in which Owen has revolted the reader he writes the last four lines directly to a specific person: 'my friend' (line 26). This choice of voice makes this feel personally addressed which contributes to the communication of the message. All in all Owen's poem is very effective because of the way he is able to create certain atmospheres by using the language in such a way that the soldiers' feelings and the condition they are in are communicated very effectively to the reader. ...read more.

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