In this short, 28 lined poem ‘Dulcet Et Decorum Est.’ by Wilfred Owen, he explores the horrors of life and trench warfare through the experience of one group of soldiers. In doing this he attacks the misconception which existed at home, that war was glorious and was something to be celebrated by focusing on the death of a young soldier. Owen is effective by his skilful use of language, imagery and structure, which all work together to express the true, full horror of the young men in the trenches of world war one. In doing this he shows the brutal and dehumanising death, creating a contrast between misconception and reality. Owen exploits every aspect of war and portrays a destructive experience for the men described. In my essay I will analyse the imagery conveyed and show how horrible the war was.
Owens war poetry is a passionate expression of outrage at the horrors of war and of pity for the young soldiers sacrificed in it. From the first stanza Owen uses strong metaphors and similes to convey a strong warning. The first line describes the troops as being "like old beggars under sacks" This creates the image of a tired soldier, fatigued and like a beggar on the floor, curled and being helpless. ‘Knocked-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge’, This refers to how the men in the war were exhausted, weak and were trying to escape from attack, and coughing like hags because of all the fumes and the exhaustion, knock kneed because of the lack of nutrient, but they had to continue on through the sludge that pulled them down, cursing about their situation that they were in. ‘Till on the haunting flares we turn our backs’. This creates the image of the soldiers turning their backs from the flares which were sent up in the air to burn with a bright glare, to light up the men and the other targets on the front line. ‘Towards our distant rest began to trudge’ The soldiers are on their way to their distant rest , a... [continues]
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