Comment on the Language in Dulce Et Decorum Est

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Comment on the language in ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’

Dulce et Decorum est is a dark poem which highlights the negative side of the war. Wilfred Owen, a very famous World War I poet, was really one of the soldiers who fought in the WWI. By this, he had firsthand experience on how war really was like. This led him to be able to write such poems just like this which were dark, real and told people how war really was like. Unlike other poems which make the war seem fun and enjoyable (such as ‘Who’s for the game?’ by Jessie Pope), it describes how dark, cruel and helpless war can be. Also, Dulce et Decorum Est especially contradicts the poem ‘Dulce et Decorum’ by G.R Glasgow, which once again is a poem which encourages people to join the war by telling them it was honourable and heroic to die for one’s country.

In this poem, Owen uses different kinds of techniques to emphasize the cruelty of the war. Often, he includes simile and metaphors to increase the impact on the readers or to exaggerate the situation – to make sure it was clear to everyone that the war was not honourable in any perspective. In the first line, the author introduces soldiers who are “like old beggars”. He uses simile and compares the soldiers to beggars, which makes the reader feel that these men are weak, vulnerable and fragile. Also, by comparing them to beggars, he also shows them that they are low classed and gets no respect, which hugely contradicts the idea of being a hero. The author gives this feeling to the reader once again when he states that these men were “coughing like hags”. By describing these men to the old women, Owen makes the reader feel that they are emasculated and less manly.

Author makes the gas bomb into “green sea”, when he describes what he sees when the gas bomb attacks them. The noun “sea” tells the reader that everywhere was covered with the bomb and also, it shows that it was terrifying, cold and nasty looking through the gas. The adjective “green” adds...
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