How Does Owen Challenge the Idea That It Is Sweet and Noble to Die for Your Country

Topics: World War I, Dulce et Decorum Est, World War II Pages: 4 (1290 words) Published: February 23, 2013
How does Owen challenge the idea that it is sweet and noble to die for your country?

In the poem Dulce Et Decorum Est, Wilfred Owen describes the realities of war in a negative way even though the title of the poem, translated into English is: It is sweet and noble to die for your country. Portraying the truth of war contradicts the title of Owen’s poem and hence Owen challenges the idea of bravery in being killed in war, which is ironic for he, himself did so.

Wilfred Owen uses the structure of the poem to create conflicting ideas of his opinion of war. The lines of the poem imply that it is graceless to die in such hordes for so few and in this shows that the world is an unfair place however the alternate rhyme scheme is steady and equal and suggests particular organisation which most certainly was not the case in the chaos of war. Then again the balanced structure proposes strict obedience in that this rhyme scheme is maintained throughout the poem as orders and actions were compulsory to be followed without question in World War One and therefore the unwavering strictness of the rhyme can relate to life in the war. This means that the rhyme scheme mirrors the harsh and severe ways of WWI and hence challenges the title. The punctuation within the poem is used to add emphasis and full meaning to the lines. Owen uses punctuation to provoke full thought to any certain phrase in the poem and therefore building up the thought of the horror and anguish of World War One. For example, in line two: “knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge”, the commas slow down the pace and therefore emphasising the cursing through sludge by making the lines read at the same pace as the meaning within the lines describes. In lines five to eight, the semi-colons make pauses so as to add denotation to the phases that were so key to the appalling reality of World War One: “All went lame; all blind;/Drunk with fatigue;”. These semi-colons also suggest continuation...
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