The Poetr of Wilfred Owen (Speech)

Topics: Poetry, Suffering, World War II Pages: 2 (774 words) Published: June 19, 2013
Wilfred Owen was a 20th century English poet who fought in World War I and died just one week before the war had ended, aged 25. However, even long after his death, his poetry has still lived on in the minds of those he helped. Poems such as 'Dulce et Decorum est', 'Mental cases' and 'Disabled' portray the devastating volume of death on the battlefield and the psychological and physical impacts soldiers endured during and after war. These are the key features that intensify the meaning of his poems. Owen himself said he wrote poems not because of the heroes, the glory, the dominion or the power but it was to show the dark reality of war, the pity of it and the results of the wasting so much life. In ‘Dulce et Decorum est’, ‘mental cases' and 'disabled' Owen reveals a side of the war which destroys the minds and bodies of those it does not kill. 'Dulce et Decorum Est' describes a mustard gas attack on a group of war-weary soldiers. Owen uses the title ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ contradictory to its meaning, as it translates to "It is sweet and right." Whereas Owen tells us that war is neither ‘sweet’ nor ‘right’, then goes on to demonstrate why this is so. The main theme of this poem is straightforward and unambiguous: war is hell; glory has no place in it. The scenes described in the poem took place during World War I (1914-1918), on a battlefield in France, between the Allied Forces of Brittan and the central powers in Germany. Owen's painfully direct language combines sharp realism with an overwhelming sense of compassion. He expresses his despair at the scenes of death and the waste of life, in phrases like “froth-corrupted lungs”, “sores on innocent tongues” and his description of the dying man's face “like a devil's sick of sin”. The idea of the devil, who loves sin, is now sick of it, describes just how much horror those directly involved suffered themselves and inflicted on others. The poem "Mental cases” is full of images of men who have come back from war...
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