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The World of words in Wilfred Owens Anthem For Doomed Youth and Dulce Et Decorum Est

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The World of words in Wilfred Owen's 'Anthem For Doomed Youth' and 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' Good morning everyone/teacher. Today im going to talk about the world of words in Wilfred owen's anthem for doomed youth and ducle et decorum est. Words are nothing but the voice of human feelings and emotions. They depict anger, love, despise, acceptance, optimism, pessimism and the list goes on but for a poet, a writer, it is an outpour of his sensitivity. The poet under consideration here has his own special way with words and he expresses an entire galaxy of emotion through well chosen and with arranged words Wilfred Owen was a poet who was widely regarded as one of the best poets of the World War one period. The war poetry, written between 1793 and 1815, was idealistic and also patriotic. Owen started writing anti-war poetry but later he too became a firm supporter of war. The two poems which I am going to be comparing and contrasting are all inspired by war. The poems are Anthem for Doomed Youth and Dulce et Decorum est. Wilfred Owen's poetry has expressed his outrage of war and the sheer pity of the sacrifices of young soldiers made in battle. The patriotic view of war and religion are questioned repeatedly in his poems. He also ponders the purpose for the existence of the human race. Techniques such as juxtaposition, similes and metaphors are also employed into the poems to create the atmosphere needed for each poem. This atmosphere creates various emotions especially to emphasize the horrific outcomes of war. Owen wrote "Anthem for Doomed Youth" at Craiglockhart, where he was sent after being removed from the Front Line, due to shellshock. The poem is written from past experience and his growing knowledge of the atrocities of war. The title, Anthem for Doomed Youth', gives the first impression of the poem. ...read more.


As far as the mood goes this stanza gives off a more somber mood as the mourning of these soldiers are demonstrated. I QUOTE 'Holy glimmers of goodbyes' I UN-QUOTE symbolize the sacredness of life and death and gives off a more religious feeling. This stanza details the loss of loved ones at home and the soreness it causes. Owen brings this issue to mind that war causes the loss of soldiers and pain for loved ones at home. The main themes of the poem are religion and war, and there are many words to stress these themes. There isn't actually a lot of war vocabulary; however, the adjectives used, such as I QUOTE 'monstrous', 'anger', 'stuttering', I UN-QUOTE etc. empowers the war diction such as I QUOTE 'gun', 'rifle', 'bugles' and 'shells' I UN-QUOTE. All of these words are in the octet: there is no presence of war vocabulary in the second part of the poem. The religion vocabulary on the other hand is present throughout the poem. In the octet, it is used to mock religion, whereas in the sestet, they are used in a I QUOTE 'holier' I UN-QUOTE sense. Throughout the poem, there is an obvious presence of negativity. Besides the actual content, there is a lot of diction used to reinforce the negativity: first in the title 'Anthem for Doomed youth'. The theme of negativity continues with the question used in the beginning of both the octet and the sestet, and questions give a sense of uncertainty, doubtlessness, and negativity, but also, Owen uses them to make a point. This theme is continued with negative and pessimistic words such as only, no, nor, demented, wailing, sad, mourning, not, and slow. Some of these words have been used more than once and often used closely, which strengthens the effect. The second poem is in my view the best out of the two. ...read more.


Both poems are really similar. The huge similarity between these poems could also be explained by the fact that they were written within ten months of each other. In Dulce et Decorum Est the almost disturbing vocabulary and imagery formed is apparent in phrases such as I QUOTE 'Haunting Flares', 'Blood-Shod', 'White eyes writhing' and 'like a devil's sick of sin' I UN-QUOTE. These phrases all portray death and fear at its most terrifying, setting a scene that is not present in the first poem where there is innocence and lack of understanding of what war really was like. In the two poems there is no dialogue and with the exception of the description of the soldier who was gassed there are no other characters throughout the poems. The poem I personally preferred was the most recently composed, Dulce et decorum Est. When Owen wrote this he was more experienced and had a clear view on what he was writing. War is a tragedy that is detailed in all of Owen's poems. He describes war as a horrifying and pointless experience for a young man's life. He challenges the patriotic view of war as something that is not true and should not be believed. His use of a range of techniques allows the dreadful events of his poems to be visualized by the audience. This allows the point of the actual existence of the human race and the point of war The two poems which I have compared and contrasted fall into one group, Anti-war. The first and second poems of which I have referred, Anthem for doomed youth and Dulce et Decorum est, are both anti war, the latest being more against war. These were inspired by Owen's changed view on war as he had witnessed the awful sights and sounds of front line combat. It is almost as if he needs to emphasis that the innocence he portrayed in the first poem was a mistaken and bore no resemblance to the true reality of the horror of death in war. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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Response to the question

This commentary on Wilfred Owen’s war poems analyses and compares the poems of Dulcet Et Decorum Est and Anthem for Doomed Youth in excellent depth and breadth, providing a technical approach and insight into the literary analysis of the poems. ...

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Response to the question

This commentary on Wilfred Owen’s war poems analyses and compares the poems of Dulcet Et Decorum Est and Anthem for Doomed Youth in excellent depth and breadth, providing a technical approach and insight into the literary analysis of the poems. The writer begins the commentary by giving an introduction of the context of the poems. This is done by delving into the life of Wilfred Owen, his image as an anti-war poet as well as circumstances of World War 1 before introducing the poems. The writer highlights the various literary techniques employed by Owen such as metaphors, enjambment, etc. The writer captures the negative connotations implied by Owen in the title as well as the poems by focusing on the literary devices employed. For example, the writer intelligently captures the use of present tense, the use of grotesque imagery, the beginning of poem with rhetorical questions, etc. Such details contribute to the thematic ideas discussed by Owen, and the writer manages to appreciate this. The writer also extends this idea to the next poem, Dulcet Et Decorum Est as well. By analyzing the use of literary devices, the writer manages to capture the brutality of war that Owen intends to convey. Overall, the writer does an extremely neat work in comparing the two poems and balancing his commentary between these two poems. Hence, this commentary is excellent in both its depth and breadth.

Level of analysis

The commentary is definitely extraordinary in its content and ideas. The depth of analysis is excellent, especially in utilizing the writer’s background knowledge of literary terms and in justifying the ideas through quotes. One plus point for this commentary will be the elaborate use of quotes to support ideas, which scores marks for use of text. The mentioning of literary terms and its effects scores for “appreciation of text” as well. Besides the obvious literary devices the writer manages to pick up less obvious ones, scoring on the writer’s perception to subtlety of texts as well. The writer manages to unravel both the literal and deeper meaning concealed by Owen. Besides just analyzing, the wrier goes a step ahead by comparing the similarities and differences between both poems later on in the commentary. Hence, the commentary is very well written in terms of depth of analysis.

Quality of writing

The use of grammar and spelling is flawless throughout the commentary. However, the organization of the commentary needs more improvement. While the writer begins using a stanzaic approach of analysis, he or she then shifts to a thematic analysis and in between, there is again another switch to a literary analysis. So, the whole commentary appears disorganized, and the writer might lose marks on “organization of commentary”. While most literary terms are properly used, there are some flaws like “negative dictation” instead of “negative diction”, which is a major error in the view of English markers. Overall, the writer has certainly put in much work and effort to deliver an excellent piece of commentary.

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Reviewed by Arcturus 14/03/2012

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