Owen himself said he wrote poems not because of the heroes, the glory, the minion 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 ‘Dulcet 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. ‘Dulcet et Decorum Est’ describes a mustard gas attack on a group of war-weary soldiers. Owen uses the title ‘Dulcet 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 Brittany and the central powers in Germany. Owens painfully direct language combines sharp realism with an overwhelming sense of compassion.Order now
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 with shell shock; it is horrible for us to imagine the pain these men are experiencing.
By using strong imagery, Owen wants us to be able to understand what they have suffered, why these men are suffering, and, in some way, feel their suffering ourselves. The title Is somewhat derogatory, as the term “mental case” is often used as an Insult for someone who has a mental illness. From the beginning of the first stanza, Owen uses strong imagery “Dropping tongues from Jaws that slob their relish” and “Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets” the hyperbole of “Chasms” gives us a visual Image of their tortured appearances.
Owen asks us to consider why these men look the way they do, through rapid-fire rhetorical questions of “Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight? ” This makes us as ourselves these questions, “who were these men? “, “what was there past? ‘ and “why do they sit suffering? ” the empathy we experience as a result Is exploited In the final stanza, when we encouraged to Matthias with the young men who have been caught In “Twilight”. This one word creates Imagery of a world where there Is nothing but darkness, nothing but pain and suffering, nothing but an endless cycle without any escape for those within.
The tone of these rhetorical questions is demanding, the multiple terms “These” also implies there are many victims all suffering the same experience repeatedly, over and over, day after day for, most likely, the rest of their lives. In “Disabled” Owen remembrance of the man’s past life. Owen uses the plosive alliteration sounds of “play and pleasure after day’ to highlight what is now lost to the man. He uses visual imagery to enable us to be able to picture this.
The metaphor of “glow lamps budded in the light blue trees”, show a time of enjoyment of which is lost to the man. Through the alliteration in “girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim”, he creates a image in our minds of youth at the beginning of their lives, who are care free, now, however, this man wants it to end as this has all been lost to him and now only causes pain. With his extensive use of visual imagery throughout my selected poems, Owen shows us the real loss of going to war and why, regardless of circumstances, we should oppose it.