Dulce Et Decorum Est

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Dulce et Decorum Est Question: Choose a poem which explores a powerful emotion. Show how the poet has used techniques of poetry to make the power of the emotion clear to you. “Dulce et Decorum Est,” by Wilfred Owen is a poem which explores a powerful emotion. It is a bitter, angry, anti-war poem which clearly presents the horrors of war and gives a graphic account of life in the trenches in WW1. The poem also gives a horrific description of a soldier dying in a gas attack, while his comrades look on helplessly. Ultimately, the poem builds to a climax, where Owen points the finger of blame at those who encouraged young men to enlist through their patriotic propaganda. In particular, this poem was written in direct response to Jessie Pope’s poem, “Who’s for the Game,” which advocated the glory of war. Owen clearly conveys his fury at this notion and presents the true brutality of war through a variety of poetic techniques. The title and structure of the poem contrasts with the content of the poem, helping to convey Owen’s anger at those who advocated war. The title, which translates to “sweet and right it is,” suggests that the poem is about something positive and glorious – the Great War. This is emphasised by the structure of the poem, which is very rigid as it is written in iambic pentameter and has an ABAB rhyme scheme. The title, coupled with the rigidity of the structure represents the powerful left right march commonly associated with soldiers. It also represents the strength and power the public associated with the British army during WW1. However, the content immediately undercuts this notion and presents the true horror of war through graphic images. This clearly represents the way Owen feels about war. On the outside the nation may seem powerful and strong, however, when you are involved in the war the true horrors are finally shown. Evidently,
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