Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Edward Salter Owen

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‘Dulce Et Decorum est’ is a poem written during World War I in which Wilfred Owen tries to persuade people that it is not “Sweet and Fitting” to die for ones country. Wilfred Owen uses his own experiences to describe gas attacks he was part of as he and the group of soldiers left the front line trenches. He then goes on to say what it was like to the horror of watching someone who can not get the gas mask on in time and then has his own techniques to describe the image of death, caused by gas. He uses a variety of different techniques to explain what he feels about war and tries to get the reader to understand why they shouldn’t b using jingoistic phrases so light heartedly.

In the first stanza Wilfred Owen uses a variety of different techniques. He uses metaphors to tell you that the men were tired, which is why “Men marched asleep.” He also uses similes “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks” and “Coughing like hags”. “Bent double” gives you the image that they had a great pressure on them, “old beggars under sacks” that they have physically changed and have lived in poor conditions. “Coughing like hags” has the impact that they are old women. Wilfred Owen also uses the senses as well, an example of this is “all blind” can not see any thing, “Deaf even to the hoots of tired, outstripped Five-nines” as though they can not hear them anymore as they are use to them. This is the first stanza that you are able to see that Wilfred Owen is going to be a ‘government’ solider, that he is saying what is really going on.

In the second stanza Wilfred Owen uses less poetic techniques but still has the same effect. The first point is that he doesn’t name the man “But someone still was yelling out and stumbling ,” he doesn’t name the man out of what could be respect. “Gas! Gas! Quick boys!” the person who said this also remains unnamed. Wilfred Owen doesn’t name either man though h would of known who they were. “Dim, through the misty panes” is referring to the gas...
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