A poem which deals with the important issue of war is Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen.

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Dulce et Decorum Est Essay

Choose a poem which deals with an important issue such as war poverty or racism. Explain how the poet deepens out understanding of the issue by the choice of content and the skilful use of poetic techniques.

        A poem which deals with the important issue of war is “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen. The poet first went to the war on 30th of December 1916. He had already completed his military training and sailed for France.  Nothing had fully prepared Owen for the shock and suffering of his front line experience. I have said that he went to the war, because if we know this, we would understand better why this poem seems so real as it reflects the brutal reality and the atmosphere of wars.

In the first stanza, Owen gives a vicious and desperate image of war. He conveys this by describing the dreadful conditions of soldiers at war and sets a weary tone:

        “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

        Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge”

This horrendous description of the soldiers makes us feel almost pitiful towards the. The word “beggars” has connotations of desperation and lack of dignity suggesting that the soldiers are stark contrast to the brave valiant image of soldiers that we have. These soldiers are forgotten and are almost like outcasts of society and this is described here. The poet uses similes such as “coughing like hags” to emphasise their pitiful and unwell state. The use of “cursed” as a verb here suggests that they are worn down from the constant battle and they are regretting being there. This helps us to understand the issue of war by highlighting the appalling conditions of soldiers at war. The reader is given a very fatigued and desperate image of the soldiers. Owen uses enjambment to emphasise the weariness of the soldiers:

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        “All went lame; all blind;

        Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

        Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind”

Owen shows how these men's senses had been numbed by the ghastly occurrences in the trenches and how these numbed senses cause the men to not realise they are under attack until it is almost . He uses metaphors to emphasise how tired they are and they cannot even hear the shells which is surprising as we would expect the bombs to be fairly loud. He uses the transferred epithet of “tired, outstripped Five-Nines” to show how the war ...

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