Dulce Et Decorum Est

In: English and Literature

Submitted By MollyL
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Pages 4
“Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen portrays perfectly the shocking horrors of World War One. The poem is full of stark similes and metaphors which build a raw image of the troops experiences. In this poem Owen tries to convince the readers that the horror of war outweighs the clichés of people who try to glamorise war. In this work of poetry the more you read the more sympathy you have for the troops and by the end you are left feeling very disturbed.
In the first stanza you immediately get a feel of how terrifying it was for the soldiers. This is assisted with the strong use of similes and metaphors which portray the struggles and suffering that these men were faced with. In the first line “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,” shows us that the troops are so tired that they can be compared to old beggars. “Coughing like hags,” suggests that the men were suffering from ill health. The first few lines also have a slightly unnatural and mysterious feel and “haunting flares,” reinforces this feeling. In a lot of Stanza one Wilfred Owen uses short direct phrases which indicate how the men feel. For example “Men marched asleep,” this emphatic metaphor is particularly striking because it clearly indicates the level of exhaustion that these men are faced with. As the poem goes on you are given an even more realistic account of the soldier’s fatigue. “All went lame; all blind,” the troops are “Drunk with fatigue”. These are both very descriptive because they are visual descriptions so you build a striking image in your mind. As a whole this Stanza gives you the grim reality of the situation and prepares you for what is coming up.
“Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!” This is a very strong way to open a stanza as you are hit with a powerful impact of panic and fear. It is monosyllabic but it is the two sharp syllables at the very beginning which affects you the most. You…...

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