Commentary on Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

Authors Avatar

Commentary on Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen

        Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen is a famous poem from the first world war. It is devided into three parts of which each has it’s own role. In this analysis I will cover the three sections separately, mainly focussing  on the atmosphere and the feelings amongst the soldiers. Of each part I am going to describe how Owen has used several language aspects to communicate these to the reader.

        One of the elements described in the first stanza  is the fatigue of the suffering soldiers. The young men are compared with ‘old beggars under sacks’ and ‘coughing (like) hags’ (ll. 1-2) which shows that they feel physically broken . This simile is one of contrast because the men arriving on the battefield were young and strong. The discrepancy strengthens the image of the dreadful condition of the soldiers.

Join now!

Another aspect of the soldiers’ state in this first stanza is their seemingly indifference and total mental abcense. The men ‘turned’ their ‘back’ on ‘haunting flares’ (l. 3) as if they don’t care what is happening even though it’s a dangerous situation. They are also said to be ´blind’ and ‘deaf’  (ll. 6-7) which indicates that they don’t even registrate what is happening around them. It almost is as if the men are more dead than alive, like zombies. This description of the soldiers creates an eerie image. Because of this imagery the atmosphere is fearsome too.

The eerie atmosphere ...

This is a preview of the whole essay