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. An anthem is a song of praise, perhaps sacred, so we get the impression that the poem might me about something religious or joyous. However, the Anthem is for Doomed Youth is obviously negative. The title basically summarizes what the poem is; a mixture of thoughts related to religion and death, irony, and cynicism.

The poem doesn't slowly start to focus on the point he's making: there is an immediacy of war with the usage of present tense. Plus, it starts with a rhetorical question. With the rhetorical questions, he says that the dead soldiers, or I QUOTE cattle I UN-QUOTE, die insignificantly, for there are no I QUOTE ‘passing-bells' I UN-QUOTE for them. Furthermore, he is emphasizing the vast number of the dead by meaning that there wouldn't be enough bells, or times to ring the bells for each soldier. The speaker continues by answering his own question with lines filled with onomatopoeia, personification, assonance, and alliteration: the ‘only' substitute for the bells are the bullets fired during war by the I QUOTE ‘stuttering rifles' I UN-QUOTE and the I QUOTE ‘guns' I UN-QUOTE with the I QUOTE ‘monstrous anger' I UN-QUOTE. This type of beginning sets out a solid foundation for the poem: it already gives the reader a strong idea of what the intentions of the poet are.

        The poem continues the theme of negativity when the speaker criticizes the use of religion throughout war, and possibly questions God. By using things as sacred as I QUOTE ‘prayers', ‘bells' and ‘choirs' I UN-QUOTE as tools to mourn the insignificant I QUOTE ‘cattle' I UN-QUOTE, Owen says that the dead would only be mocked.

The vast number of dead I QUOTE ‘cattle' I UN-QUOTE is described by Owen when he says that there aren't enough I QUOTE ‘candles' to ‘speed them all' I UN-QUOTE, and there aren't any official funerals, but they can only be mourned by releasing their I QUOTE ‘holy glimmers of good-byes' I UN-QUOTE and that I QUOTE the pallor of girls brows shall be their pall' I UN-QUOTE. Lastly, it is stated that for the I QUOTE ‘patient minds' I UN-QUOTE, each day passes by very I QUOTE ‘slow' I UN-QUOTE and they I QUOTE ‘draw down' their ‘blinds' I UN-QUOTE as if slowly getting rid of any hope left. Nevertheless, they are finally in serenity.

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The climax in irony is I QUOTE ‘Shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells' I UN-QUOTE; however, just as the poems irony climaxes, we are taken away from the war to the I QUOTE ‘sad shires' I UN-QUOTE. Furthermore, the last two lines of the octet are transition lines: they prepare you for the sestet by slowing the pace and softening the tone, I QUOTE ‘And bugles calling for them from sad shires' I UN-QUOTE.

 The poem is divided into two different ideas. The first part's tone is violent, firm and negative; while the second part's is miserable and unhopeful. The mood of the octet ...

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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.

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.

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.