Dulce Et Decorum Est and Anthem for Doomed Youth

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For EACH of your texts, analyse techniques that made you feel strongly about a main theme or issue. The two poems, Dulce et Decorum Est, and Anthem for Doomed Youth are both written by Wilfred Owen. Owen’s main idea was to expose the true horrors of war and to challenge the romanticised view of war that poets such as Rupert Brooke held. To achieve this, Owen used familiar imagery techniques of similes and assonance, and sound devices such as onomatopoeia and alliteration. ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ aims to give a clear reference to the audience, a glimpse of the awful realities of life and death in the trenches. Wilfred Owen helps us visualise the terrible conditions the soldiers are living in. While Owen creates a terrible, visual image of trench warfare in the reader’s mind, he also makes us feel pity for these soldiers. This in turn encourages us to feel strongly against war when Owen says, “Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle.” The onomatopoeia of the clattering guns, the alliteration of ‘r’ and assonance of “rapid rattle” all help create an aural image in the reader’s mind of the constant gunfire. The short, sharp words selected also indicate the huge danger these soldiers are faced with in the trenches, as these words almost sound like a gun being fired. These vivid descriptions make you view that war is immoral and wasteful. No one should have to live in such appalling and treacherous conditions. The soldiers featured in ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ are never properly honoured or buried even if they die in battle. The rhetorical question “What candles made be held to speed them all?” asks us to consider the manner of the soldiers deaths and the farewell they receive. Owen goes on to write “…in their eyes / Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.”, answering the previous question and showing that there are no candles on the battlefields, only the tears in the living soldiers’ eyes. The sad eyes are lit by the gunfire that caused their comrade’s death....
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