Dulce Et Decorum Est and Why Patriots are a bit Nuts in the Head

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Task: Choose two poems which have a common theme. Identify that theme and go on to show how successful the approach of the poets has been in conveying the theme. Two poems which had a common theme were ”Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen and ”Why Patriots are a Bit Nuts in the Head” by Roger McGough. Both poems shared the idea that it is not a glorious thing to die fighting for your country. In “Dulce et Decorum Est” the poet described exhausted soldiers returning from a battle. They became the victims of a gas attack and the poet described what followed. The tone of the poem was serious but effective. The language used created a vivid picture of the events. It was easy to imagine the exhausted soldiers “bent double, like old beggars under sacks” and “drunk with fatigue.” The suddenness of the gas attack and the urgent voices were mimicked by the capital letters in “Gas! GAS!”. An “ecstasy of fumbling” took place as the men tried desperately to pull on their gas masks. One man failed and the poet saw the dying man “as under a green sea, I saw him drowning.” To the soldiers, the swirling mists of the mustard gas looked like a large suffocating ocean. The poet emphasised the cruel and horrible side to war by realistically describing the dead soldier, “the white eyes writhing in his face.” As the wagon he was “flung” into jolted, his blood “came gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs.” The poet conveyed the theme of his poem very successfully. He was angered by “the old lie.” “Dulce et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori” – it is a good and fitting thing to die for ones country. He wanted people to realise that war was a senseless waste of lives and he managed that through describing the horrors in vivid detail. Roger McGough shared this view but expressed it differently in his poem “Why Patriots Are a Bit Nuts in

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