DULCE ET DECORUM EST
Theme: (The theme of the poem is the subject with which the poet deals. It is the central idea around which the event or experiences revolve.)
In this poem, the central idea is the “horrors of war”.
The ghastly images of war, the torture to which soldiers are subjected, reflect the theme:
- “the haunting flares”, “gas shells dropping”
- “froth corrupted lungs”
are evidence of the atrocities of war.
Intention of the poet: (What does the poet hope to achieve?)
The poet here wishes to convey a universal message to the reader that one should not believe that it is noble to die for one’s country, because of the untold miseries which soldiers experience. To the poet, neither fame nor glory can compensate for the immense suffering that war inflicts on humanity.
The mood conveyed in the poem is one of anger, revulsion and disgust. The impact of the incident in which the soldier is caught in an explosion and the agony he suffers is one of loathing and revulsion.
- “I saw him drowning”
- “guttering, choking, drowning”
shows the immense suffering of a dying soldier.
The Main Incident:
The traumatic experience of a soldier who is caught in a sudden explosion while returning to his camp.
The poet achieves his purpose or intention through his use of intense language and vivid imagery. These are the similes used by the poet to make the images interesting and meaningful.
1. “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks.”
Here the soldiers returning from the battle field look like old beggars, bent with age and exhaustion, carrying their sacks on their backs. The comparison is appropriate as it appeals to the visual sense and brings the readers face to face with the exhausted soldiers.
2. “knock-kneed, coughing like hags”
The image of the knock-kneed soldiers coughing like...