Dulce Et Decorum Est

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“Dulce et Decorum Est” By Wilfred Owen Critical essay – Callum Kaczynski “Dulce et Decorum Est” is a truly inspiring poem written by Wilfred Owen. As a former soldier, Owen’s poetic exploration conveys the shocking reality of war, and his anger towards the destruction and devastation it causes. The physical state of the soldiers after war creates a pitiful sense of despair. “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks.” This simile shows that they may be seeking desperate help, rest, peace and shelter. At one point they were young, fit men, and now they are worn and weak. Owen’s disgust for the state of the exhausted soldiers is effectively shown through his choice of description in this extract. The sheer exhaustion of the soldiers after war is strongly shown through Owen’s word choice. “Men marched asleep.” This portrays a zombielike physique, sluggishly moving slowly and heavily. Owen’s choice of words suggests how drained and weary the soldiers have become. In summary, the physical state of the soldiers is cleverly conveyed by Owen’s technique, experience, and his selective choice of words. The mental state reflects the tragic effect war has on the soldiers. “Drunk with fatigue.” This metaphor tells us that the soldiers were not in the right state of mind and that they did not have the competence to make fatal decisions. Owen then goes on to describe how the mental trauma becomes worse. “In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, he plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.” This tells us the soldiers mind is haunted by the sight of his fellow soldier dying from the horrible gas. He is dramatizing this scene some time after it occurred, and his dreams are still filled with this unforgettable sight, which becomes a regular nightmare for the soldier. Wilfred Owen wrote this to shock the reader, and to make the reader think about what
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