Dulce et Decorum Est has become one of the greatest and well-known war poems of the 20th century. The poem highlights the bogus patriotism of the stay- at- home war enthusiasts. Life wasn’t easy for soldiers in the war as Wilfred Owen expresses strongly in this poem ‘Dulce et Decorum est’. Wilfred Owen died at the age of 25 and was killed seven days before the end of World War 1. ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ reveals the truth behind war, the grief and suffering caused. Wilfred Owen wanted to dismiss the idea of romance as a motivation to fight in the war. Young men believed that fighting in the war would make them heroes when they returned home.Order now
“Dulce et Decorum Est” is about the soldiers on their way back from the front line and the sudden panic caused when the soldiers are hit unexpectedly with a gas attack. Wilfred Owen begins with a simile, “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks”. This shows the load the men had to carry with them and the exhaustion of the men. “â€¦Under sacks” gives us the picture of the heaviness and feeling of the soldiers’ uniforms. To show the physical condition he uses words like “coughing” and “cursed”. “We cursed through sludge” shows the deepness of the mud, which weakens the men. To emphasise tiredness and that were not completely aware of their surroundings he uses phrases like ” Drunk with fatigue” to show this. Owen tries to make us, the readers feel sorry for the men and does this by saying “All went lame, all blind”. This gives us the image that men couldn’t see or hear correctly.
The next verse begins with a shout of danger: “Gas! Gas! Quick boys.” “Ecstasy” is used ironically as it shows the speed and panic of the men, as they know how important it is to get their helmets on and yet their fingers fail them. Owen uses the line ” misty planes”, this is to show that the soldiers wearing the gas masks they hadn’t got clear view and that it looked like a misty scene.
. Owen makes the third verse short so that it stands out from the rest as. It tells us how Owen still has nightmares about the event; he cannot forget the torture and suffering that the man went through. In Wilfred’s dreams he described how he couldn’t do anything. To portray this he used words like “guttering”, ” choking” and ” drowning”. To show that the gas was poisonous he used words like “drowning” to show that as a result of the gas the soldier had suffocated and that his lungs were filled up with poisonous gas. Gas was used for first time in WW1 which is where the poem is set.
In the last verse Wilfred Owen is talking to the people who believe war is a game and who are in favour of war itself. By using the word “You” it tells us that he is talking to us the readers. He does this because he wants us to think about the horrors of the war and what the soldiers went through. He tells us how soldiers bodies were just “flung” into carts, which shows a casual approach to the death of soldiers fighting in the war. He creates a picture, for us the readers, the terror and pain that war causes.
Wilfred Owen he been at the event in the poem, so he had seen the pain, horror and suffering that took place in WW1. In contrast, Thomas Hardy who wrote ‘ Drummer Hodge’ had read about a drummer boy who had died in a newspaper and therefore didn’t see the horrors of war like Wilfred Owen, and could only imagine what war was like. Throughout the poem he uses similes and other words to emphasise the suffering that the soldiers went through and how they felt being at war.