How does Wilfred Owen use language in "Dulce et Decorum Est"?

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 “Dulce et Decorum Est”, describes the soldiers’ horrific trauma in World War1 with a bitter tone. The background of this poem is during World War 1 when the British soldiers were attacked by chlorine gas. In this poetry, one soldier was unable to get his mask on time and after suffering from the torturing gas, he unfortunately died. His excruciating death was portrayed with gruesome effects of the gas on him. This was part of his intention to indicate the grim reality with horror and futility of the war as he was convinced that the war seemed to be carrying on beyond the point of reason and kill too many innocent people. Which was why he wrote this poetry emphasizing on the irony of this situation. In the poem, he uses different rhythms and literary devices including dramatic descriptions and various images to show how the soldiers are not only physically, but also mentally devastated by exertions of battle. He strongly convinces the horror of the war to the readers who glamorize war.

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In the first stanza, he introduces the reader to the horror of the war by depicting the poor condition of the soldiers. “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks”. Here, Wilfred Owen reveals how unclean and unhealthy the soldiers are by using simile with the word ‘old beggars’. Irony is used in this place, as many people think that the soldiers are fit and healthy men with full of energy, however they are like old and sick beggars, who are often ragged and shabby. Simile is also used in the next line where “knock- kneed coughing like hags, we ...

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