Warfare as Seen in the Poems The Sentry and Dulce Et Decorum Est

Topics: Poison gas in World War I, Dulce et Decorum Est, World War I Pages: 7 (2182 words) Published: February 12, 2013
Compare the ways in which Wilfred Owen reflects on warfare in The Sentry and Dulce et Decorum Est

Wilfred Owen was one of the leading English poets of World War 1, whom's work was immensely influenced by Siegfried Sassoon and the events that he witnesses whilst fighting as a soldier. 'The Sentry' and 'Dulce et Decorum Est' are both shocking and realistic war poems that were used to expose the horrors of war from the soldiers on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare, they challenged and stood in stark contrast to the public perception of war, conveyed by propagandist poets such as Rupert Brooke.

Dulce et decorum Est and the sentry both reveal the true environment and conditions that the soldiers were living and fighting in. In particular The Sentry contains many The use of 'Slush' and 'Sludge' link to the feelings of

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How does Owen use language to convey the horror of War in ‘The Sentry’ and ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’? ‘The Sentry’ and ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ both convey the harsh reality of war that Owen personally experienced and as a result contributed to his admittance to Craiglockhart War Hospital. The two poems focus on an individual event that Owen was involved in. The Sentry took Owen just under a year to even begin writing after the experience, this gives us an insight as to the true effect that such a shocking and horrific event had on him. There are many similarities between the two poems and Owen presents the dramatic image of war by use of language techniques.

a however, ‘Dulce...’ focuses on the pain of the gased soldier whilst Owen widens the perspective in ‘The Sentry. There are many similarities between both poems, such as the way Owen presents a dramatic image of war by use of language techniques, however there are also many differences. Owen uses language to show the reality of war. The simile “like old beggars under sacks” illustrates the dirty, weak image of the soldiers which contrasts the strong, heroic image which was portrayed of them at the time. This image was the belief of Jessie Pope who encouraged men to fight for their country. In contrast, Owen uses personification in ‘The Sentry’ to convey the appalling living conditions on the frontline as the steps were “choked” by mud. This is effective as it shows how much slush and mud was in the trenches. Both poems use nightmare underwater imagery, in ‘Dulce...’ Owen describes a soldier as he starts “drowning” under a “green sea” when he is overcome by gas. This creates a disturbing psychological image for the reader and conveys how toxic the gas was. Similarly, in ‘The Sentry’ the soldier’s body is described as “sploshing in the flood”, this representation conveys the harsh environment the soldiers had to live in. Repetition is also used in both poems. In ‘The Sentry’, the repetition of “I’m blind” helps give a sense of the increasing distress of the soldier as he realises he has lost his sight. In comparison, repetition of “Gas!” in ‘Dulce...’ is effective as it creates a sense of urgency and the panic of the soldiers as...

In October 1917 Wilfred Owen wrote to his mother from Craiglockhart, "Here is a gas poem, done yesterday……..the famous Latin tag (from Horace, Odes) means of course it is sweet and meet to die for one's country. Sweet! and decorous!"

While the earliest surviving draft is dated 8th October 1917, a few months later, at Scarborough or Ripon, he revised it.

The title is ironic. The intention was not so much to induce pity as to shock, especially civilians at home who believed war was noble and glorious.

It comprises four unequal stanzas, the first two in sonnet form, the last two looser in structure.

Stanza 1 sets the scene. The soldiers are limping back from the Front, an appalling picture expressed through simile and metaphor. Such is...
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