Wilfred Owen - “Anthem for Doomed Youth, Dulce Et Decorum Et Est and Futility

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Wilfred Owen’s poetry has expressed his outrage of war and the sheer pity of the pointless sacrifices of young soldiers made in battle. The patriotic view of war and religion are questioned repeatedly in his poems. He also ponders the purpose for the existence of the human race. Techniques such as juxtaposition, similes and metaphors are also employed into the poems of “Anthem for Doomed Youth, Dulce et Decorum et Est and Futility” to create the atmosphere needed for each poem. This atmosphere creates various emotions especially to emphasize the horrific outcomes of war.

“Dulce et Decorum Est” is a dramatic and descriptive poem, detailing the event in the perspective of Owen’s experiences. The patriotic view that fighting for one’s country is honorable is challenged as the poem starts off with the trudging struggle of the soldiers. The soldiers are described as “old beggars under sacks” whilst “coughing like hags” These opening similes convey the idea that the soldiers had been so worn out that young men had turned into beggars. Illness and fatigue is suggested as the “men marched asleep” through the battlefield. These conditions were not thought of before the war, as it could be said that the soldiers were duped into the war. However the second stanza details the horrific event of a tragedy occurring infront of Owen’s eyes. The scene is emphasized by the quick repetition of the word gas as the urgency of a gas attack is realized. Owen describes a man who was unable to put on his mask in time, being engulfed “under a green sea, I saw him drowning”. This event leads to the challenging of the naïve views that dying for ones country is a patriotic act. Owen states that if you actually went to war “you would not tell with such high zest, The old Lie: Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori”

Futility is a different poem contrasted with to Owen’s more emotional works such as “Dulce”. This poem conveys the ideas of despair, hope and confusion. Owen this time...
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