Dulce et decorum est by Wilfred Owen
In the poem, Dulce et decorum est by Wilfred Owen the theme of irony and truth, similes, some imagery and first person narrative point of view are important language techniques that are used to help the writer show his purpose of the poem. Dulce Et Decorum Est, meaning ‘It is sweet and proper’ is what Owen is trying to prove is a lie and is giving people false knowledge of what war is actually like.
The theme of irony starts from the idea of the title of the poem. Even the it may mean sweet and proper, throughout the rest of the poem he gives many examples and points to prove it is wrong. Owen also ends the poem with ‘the old lie: Dulce et decorum est. Pro patria more’ to bring together all his instances of irony and mockery about the statement. An example of one of his irony instances is "bent double" and "knock-kneed". This is not proper nor is it sweet to be in this condition. Because of the ‘old lie’ children are taught that dying in battle is a brave and honourable thing to do. The irony shown in this poem, helping Owens purpose, shows that this couldn't be further from the truth. Emphasizing the gruesome details of his real experiences during the war allows him to demonstrate the emptiness of war and allows the theme of irony to prove Dulce Et Decorum Est is a lie.
Another language technique that helped shows the writers purpose was the use of similes and metaphors. There was a large use of these techniques throughout Dulce et decorum est. Most of them are negative and poor comparisons which makes the soldiers and setting at the battle hard, weak and sad. “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks”, “knock-kneed, coughing like hags” this makes the soldiers sound worn down and unhappy not sweet and proper like others try make war sound. This quote shows us reader the soldiers in this poem are crippled, mentally and physically overwhelmed by their intense experiences in war. This also brings some imagery...
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