Through vivid imagery and gripping metaphors "Dulce et Decorum Est" gives the reader the exact response the author wanted. The poem is an anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen. This poem was written in 1918 when Owen was in the hospital, while suffering from a nervous breakdown, while in the service. Only four of Owens' poems ever made it to print before being killed in action, one week before the end of the war. "Dulce et Decorum Est" is a narrative poem using similes and verbal irony to get its tragic and some what ironic meaning across to readers. The poem begins with a very vivid image of similes. "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge" (1163). It portrays the soldiers as beggars and hags. The men who are supposed to be war heroes, compared to some of the people American think of as the lowest on the food chain in society. It's showing how little respect these men are getting for what they believe in. They are fighting for a cause, and no one seems to care or mind they are risking their lives. They are very tired and worn out. "And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime" (1163), another good use of a simile as long as it's taken correctly into context. After looking up lime in the Encarta Dictionary because visualizing a man in a lime-green fog did not justice to the poem, I found out that lime is also known as calcium oxide. This created good visuals as to what was going on during the war and how horrific the experience was, seeing men walking around, rather stumbling around, because they couldn't get to their gas masks in time. "His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin" (1163), is another simile creating visual depth to the poem. This sentence is used to describe the expression the man's face. The devil sick of sin is a very extreme thought considering the devil feeds off sins, so basically this line means the man was fed up with the war. "Obscene as cancer, bitter as cud"...
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