Practical Criticism Essay

1666 WordsMar 26, 20127 Pages
The following assignment will analyse the experience of war portrayed by the authors listed below: * Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen * Extract from Pat Barker’s The Ghost Road * Extract from Shakespeare’s Henry V The poem ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen was a personal portrayal of his experience as a solider in World War One. The Ghost Road was written in 1995 and is a portrayal of a battle during World War One. Shakespeare wrote Henry V many years after war and we look at an extract from that, which illustrates a scene of war. All of these extracts convey the effect that war had upon the soldiers and how they met their death. The experience of war is described in many ways and techniques, which this assignment will now explore. Wilfred Owen conveys the experience of war in this poem in a number of ways, the use of words to create disturbing images, the title ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ which in Latin means “It is right and fitting to die for ones country” this cleverly prompts the reader into questioning this motto. This all being empahsised by the irregular structure of the four stanzas, just like war itself being something far from regular. These stanzas convey war in the following ways: In the first stanza, the poet conveys the tired and ageing effect of war, which has been inflicted on these once young soldiers. “Knock-Kneed, coughing like hags” the use of this compound adjective, emphasized by the alliterative ‘k’ illustrates the anti heroic effect of war. The use of the words “like hags” is demoralizing, conveying the soldiers as old decrepit women, Uprooting all suggestion that fighting for ones country is right or honorable. Returning from battle these soldiers are tired, exhausted and injured “All went lame; all blind;/Drunk with fatigue”. The poet refers to the soldiers as lame, this creating animal imagery which demolorises

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