• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Wilfred Owen's "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Commentary

Extracts from this document...


Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen In this Petrarchan sonnet. ?Anthem for Doomed Youth? Wilfred Owen highlights the horrors of war. It mirrors the fate of brave soldiers dying in the line of fire. The theme of death and loss of identity is dominant in the poem and the words in the title, ?Doomed Youth? suggest that the soldiers tragic fate has already been proclaimed. The assonance in these words with the vowels gives the poem foreboding tone. The octet begins with a question that what marks the death of the ?passing? soldier, as they are slaughtered like ?cattle? which signifies that the soldiers die a faceless death as they lose their identities to the chaos of war. Consequently, Owen responds to this by saying that ?Only the monstrous anger of the guns? and ?Only the stuttering riffles rapid rattle? will ?patter out their hasty horizons?. ...read more.


He also portrays the funerals with their ?prayers? and ?bells? to be mere ?mockeries?, which emphasizes that the deaths caused by war are not noble or purposeful as its just like slaughtering ?cattle?. The sound of the ?bugles calling? from ?sad shires? links the octet to the sestet which seems to send a message to the soldiers home and almost warns them to stay away from the madness of war while they are yet forced to leave their ?shires?, homes. The sestet opens by questioning the lack of ceremonies, traditional rite and dignity as he worries about ?What candles may be held to speed them all?? and bid them farewell. He then goes on to exhibit that the ?glimmers of goodbyes? are in their fellow soldiers eyes, which is like a faint flicker of a tiny, holy light and hope. ...read more.


In this case the day ending and dusk approaching act as the blinds as darkness falls over the battlefield where the soldiers lie. The alliteration of the letter ?d? gives an atmosphere of dull stillness as death comes to a close. Though the poem is a Petrarchan it almost follows the traditional rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet. This hybrid of mixing the two types of sonnets shows that though war is taking place all over the world and in the soldiers life it is normal, yet they do not live the same life as people unaffected by it and how war can warp the perception of normality. Throughout the poem Wilfred Owen communicates the sorrow and horrors of war as the noise of battle gives way to silent grief by employing sight and sound imagery and comparing a proper funeral to the reality of death in war. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Analysis - "Exposure" by Wilfred Owen

    Moreover, it shows universal pity. The next stanza starts off with alliterative "w" sounds; "Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire,". This makes us sense the wind and the crazy environment around the soldiers. Furthermore, the word "mad" personifies the gusts, seeing them as insane and violent.

  2. Vietnam war

    So called search and destroy missions were sent into the jungles, the success of their missions was rated on how many people they killed. It was normally impossible to tell which side the people, who the US soldiers killed were on.

  1. The War and its Impacts on the Mentality of Soldiers in Stockings

    person might wonder how a book would save him from all the dangers caused by the war but when a soldier profoundly believes in god, it can have a positive effect on the soldier's mind which helps him perform much better in many aspects.

  2. Elizabeth Barrett Browning Sonnet XLIII Commentary

    In her next lines, "when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal Grace," Browning is elaborating upon the idea presented in the preceding lines, that she loves her beloved even when she feels he is unseen; she loves him to the end of her life.

  1. Wilfred Owen's "Anthem for Doomed Youth" offers an anti-war perspective of war's horror and ...

    The poet creates several images throughout his poem to highlight the theme. By drawing a metaphor between young soldiers and cattle, in line 1 "die as cattle", Owen once more emphasizes the inhumane way these solders are killed. He introduces the death imagery that these soldiers are nothing more than

  2. Symbolism in The Sorrow of War "

    ?He saw his life as a river with himself standing unsteadily at the peak of a tall hill, silently watching his life ebb from him, saying farewell to himself. The flow of his life focused and refocused and each moment of that stream was recalled, each event, each memory was

  1. Analysis of "Exposure" by Wilfred Owen

    blossoms grew on the ?natural coffins? of the young soldiers, reflecting the way during funerals people throw flowers on the casket?s of their loved ones. Nature was winning and was delighted at the war. In stanza two, the soldier?s ?ghost?s drag home?, this gives us the impression that the soldiers were remembering the memories of their homes through reveries.

  2. Analysis of poem Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen

    He addresses the soldier with the words: ?strange friend here is no cause to mourn.? This is an ironic paradox because of course nothing is worse than hell. Or is it? Owen shows the view of a particular soldier who thinks that hell is a better place than the midst of war, away from the blood and guns.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work