Dulce Et Decorum Est

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Dulce Et Decorum Est

‘Dulce Et Decorum Est,’ is a poem by Wilfred Owen in which the feelings of pity, fear, despair and anger are shown. The poem is about the horrors of life in the trenches of World War 1 and is an attack on the patriotic propaganda that glorified war. Owen conveys his feeling on the war through many different poetic techniques, such as imagery as he reveals how people died with no dignity as they fought in battle. Owen clearly feels war is not necessary and this poem shows the futility of it.

Owen conveys his feelings on the war and how he pities the soldiers as they are ‘bent double like old beggars under sacks.’ This simile compares the soldiers to beggars in the street. Like a beggar, the soldiers uniforms are ripped and torn, which shows the horrible conditions the soldiers had to endure. Our pity continues as we learn that on the battlefield ‘men marched asleep,’ which shows how exhausted the soldiers are. It also makes it seem like the soldiers are so tired they do not know what they are doing. As the opening stanza develops we can see that the men are injured but ‘limped on blood-shod.’ This shows that the soldiers are injured and that they have to keep marching forward with wounds that are sealed with dried up blood. This image gives us a very graphic account of how hard life was in war and our sympathy develops. At this point Owen builds anger in the reader as we are shocked by the horrible conditions that the soldiers are forced to endure. The exhaustion of the soldiers is clearly conveyed as they are described as being ‘drunk with fatigue.’ This shows that they are so exhausted that they cannot even walk in a straight line. The opening stanza clearly conveys the horrible conditions the soldiers lived in and allows us to feel great sympathy for them.

In stanza two, the pace of the poem quickens as it opens with a series of short sentences. A commander shouts ‘Gas! Gas! Quick boys!’ showing the urgency of the situation, showing...
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