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    The title was taken from an ode by Horace Essay

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    The poem ‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’ is the name of a poem written my Wilfred Owen, a wartime Poet. The title was taken from an ode by Horace.

    The title literally means ‘It is sweet and right to die for your country’. It was written specifically to stress the fact that the government’s Propaganda was a lie, “The Old Lie” as it states in the final stanza of the poem. Propaganda is a word generally used in a war, meaning advertising, promoting and spreading information towards the public. They were generally based around that if you join up, you would get the women! The government wanted, young, fit and red-blooded men to enlist, to fight and die for their country. Thousand’s of patriotic men enlisted.

    Wilfred Owen described the conditions endured by the men in the first stanza in more of a physical manner, emphasizing the men’s appearance, positions and actions. From reading this stanza, I can identify that the men were clearly pushed to their physical limits, for example, “drunk with fatigue” or “men marched asleep” both suggest how extremely exhausted they were. Special camps were used in the war; a phrase that suggests this is “and towards our distant rest began to trudge”. As the men slowed down with physical and mental drainage, their distant rest seems prolonged.

    A very serious and saddening mood is used in the poem. If spokes, one would use a very somber and depressing voice. A good example where this could be used is “but limped on, blood-shod” a metaphor is used here, as well as throughout the first stanza. A metaphor is a word meaning ‘to say something IS something, but it isn’t. The men were not really walking with shoes of blood, which is almost physically impossible. In my opinion, Wilfred Owen has used lots of these metaphors so the reader can build up characteristics and a mental image of the poem.

    The pace of the poem changes in the second stanza, which changes the amount of syllables per word, per line. An example of this is “Gas! Gas! Quick boys” This sentence only has four syllables, opposed to a line in the first stanza “towards our distant rest began to trudge” has ten syllables so it is longer to say and takes more time. The first stanza is slow and progressive, with no tension at all, but the tension is quickly built in the first sentence of the second stanza, which I find, raises one’s attention once again. With this strategy, there is no boredom. Also, the attitude of the men changes. In the first stanza, the men can only trudge with fatigue, but in the second, they were rapidly fighting for their lives.

    The third stanza differs from the previous two stanzas as it is written in the present tense. The stanza may be written in the present tense to emphasize the fact that Wilfred Owen suffered reoccurring dreams of the same man on that day; “In all my dreams” suggests that they are reoccurring. Wilfred Owen uses five very descriptive words to known as adjectives. They are “In all my dreams before my HELPLESS sight, he PLUNGES at me, GUTTERING, CHOKING, DROWNING” these words are strong and meaningful; they make me think, which in turn, also creates a mental image. This helps me to understand the poem more.

    I think that Wilfred Owen might of set out the third stanza on its own to make it stand out, to emphasize how haunting the memories of the man floundering towards him was, to an extent that every night, he suffered a reoccurring dream. Also, Wilfred Owen has also set out the third stanza on its own so the reader can focus purely on that one piece, which means that the reader can think more of it, the emotion, meanings and their opinions, without the distractions of different sentences you would find in a much longer stanza, e.g. stanza one or two.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    The title was taken from an ode by Horace Essay. (2017, Nov 05). Retrieved from

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