Dulce Est Decorum Est

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Dulce Et Decorum Est – Wilfred Owen Wilfred Owen’s poem, Dulce Et Decorum Est is a tendentious poem about the harsh realities of World War I; throughout his poems he shows his hatred for the Generals and commanding officers. In this poem he describes his memories of physical horror, and how many soldiers had been mislead about the “glory” of war. It should also be noted that this poem is in first person, and Owen is recalling the event, also the event in just one moment of time. The poem is split into four different stanzas, in the first stanza he shows how weak the soldiers were due to the horrific effects of the war. In the first line he starts off by using a hyperbole to show how badly the soldiers were affected: like old beggars under sacks, this shows that even though these men were supposed to be the ‘cream of the crop’ so to speak, they were being compared to beggars under sacks. Owen continues with this idea: Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, the alliterative Knock-kneed, slows down the tempo of the poem greatly, there is also a simile used here which compares them to witches. This creates an image of old women trudging through the thick mud – it also connects with what shape the soldiers health was in, for example coughing like hags refers to how critically ill they were as well. He goes on to say: till on haunting flares we turned our backs, in this line Owen uses both personification and a sense of hopelessness to show their misery, firstly he personifies the flares making the statement more effective. Secondly, by saying we turned our backs, it shows that these soldiers – who at the start of the war would have been full of enthusiasm and spunk, had it all drained from them by the war. In the following line, trudge is onomatopoeic which emphasises how slowly they were travelling and it should be noted that the speed of the poem is very slow; we can
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