How Does Owen Portray the Horrors of War in Dulce Et Decorum Est?

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How does Owen portray the horrors of war in Dulce et Decorum Est? “Sweet and honourable it is, to die for one’s country” World War I was an abominable ordeal that shocked the world, caused over 16 million people to lose their lives and millions more to suffer for years. Wilfred Owen has described so horrifically the horrors of war, each one seems to grow in significance until everything blurs together into a foul and futile torment that will haunt the dreams of every man for all their lives. Throughout the poem Owen attempts to eliminate the misconception that it is “sweet and honourable... to die for one’s country”, as the title of the poem suggests, through his use of vivid imagery, descriptive language and first person narrative. In the first stanza, Owen presents the idea that the personal struggles faced every moment on the front line are extremely underestimated, immeasurably terrifying and “obscene”. It seems more realistic when the story is told from a first person narrative; it allows us, the readers, to imagine what it would feel like if “we” were in the trenches and fighting on the front line. That understanding makes us realise the cruel situation that was, for them, an everyday occurrence from which they had no escape. The determination of the soldiers that they “limped on” even when they were “asleep”, “had lost their boots”, were “lame”, “blind”, “drunk with fatigue” and “deaf” to their “distant rest” makes it almost seem as if they were unbreakable; their defiance against anything thrown in their path was god-like and shows an unwavering sense of honour, as they “marched” and “cursed through”, for the fate of all those left at home. The distant rest could represent the end of the war, so far out of their sight, or the release of an untimely death. Soldiers were “drunk”, not only with fatigue but drunk on the war, the war that wasn’t ‘over by

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