Wilfred Owen 'Dulce et Decorum est'.

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     30/04/2007                                                                                                              Jameel Qureshi

Poetry-Wilfred Owen

‘Dulce et Decorum est’

The poem ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ is a poem which shows us the horrors of war. It shows us how innocent lives are being wasted on a war. The poem tells us about how the poet feels about war.

The first stanza tells us about the condition of the soldiers. It shows us that the soldiers are sick, tired and are not aware of themselves. It also tells us that the soldiers were in bad condition. They did not care about the shells that dropped behind them. In the first line the soldiers are compared in a simile to old beggars. This implies that they look shabby, which is not the image of soldiers in bright shiny uniforms, which would be in keeping with the glorious image of war. The line has a slow pace with no sound described, which is also a contrast to the image of war, as people at home might expect the soldiers to be marching along at a brisk pace. The second line continues this them as it compares the soldiers to hags, which are very like beggars. It tells you that the soldiers are knock kneeded and coughing, which implies a very low morale.

In the second stanza, the poet has written about a gas attack that he has witnessed. This stanza tells us about the confusion and panic, which arises when the soldiers' lives are in immediate danger. The pace of this verse is a lot quicker in order to demonstrate this, and also provides a contrast to the previous verses as it is written in the present tense to make it seem more real, whereas the first verse is written in the perfect tense, which makes it seem more distant. During the gas attack, many soldiers managed to get their gas helmets on time. But one soldier could not make it. He was yelling and stumbling as the gas overcare him. The poet has seen the unfortunate man die a slow and painful death.

The third stanza is short. It expresses the poet’s fears and nightmares he has because of the dying man reaching his hand out for help. But Wilfred Owen was helpless. The poet tells us that the dying man was guttering, choking and drowning as the gas made its way through his lungs.

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The fourth stanza is telling us a little bit about what the soldiers did to the dead soldier. They flung him in the back of a wagon. His condition was still bad. There was blood coming out from his mouth and his face was hanging in bad shape. The poet then tells his ‘friend’ that it is not right to tell keen and young soldiers eager for glory that ‘ It is a good and noble thing to die for your country’ as it is a lie. Moreover, the last verse is a plea to the reader to renounce ...

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