Analysis of Anthem For Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen
The first poem that I am to analyse is 'Anthem for Doomed Youth,'
written by Wilfred Owen. This poem is a sonnet. It has fourteen lines.
In this poem, the first and fourth lines rhyme, as do the second and
third. The first stanza is mainly about the battlefield, whereas the
second stanza is more about the feelings of friends and family back at
This poem starts off at a quick pace, and then slows down throughout
the poem, drawing to a slow and sombre close. Throughout this poem the
feel of a war style funeral is compared and contrasted to the ways in
which men died in the war.
The title 'Anthem for Doomed Youth,' gives you a first impression of a
sad poem. 'Anthem' is normally, and in my eyes a song that is sung in
churches. The word 'Doomed' is used to suggest that the soldiers are
alive but have an inevitable death, it symbolises death and conjures
up the image that the soldiers are on a journey to hell. The word
'Youth' is used to remind the reader that these soldiers were only
young men, with their whole lives ahead of them, but this has now been
The opening line 'What passing bells for these who die as cattle?'
uses a simile to conjure up the image of a slaughterhouse. It creates
the image of mass burials, as the 'cattle' are being slaughtered. It
highlights the sacrifice that the soldiers gave. This opening line is
a question to the reader in order to make them think more about the
poem. The poem seems to give the reader a chance to step into a
soldier's shoes in order to experience his feelings.. 'Only the
monstrous anger of the guns' is the answer to this question. Through
personification the guns responsible for taking so much human life are
made out to be evil. The image that is created is that there is a mass
of exploding shells. 'Guns' is a loud and rhythmic word, creating the
impression that this war is angry, like a monster. 'Only the
stuttering rifles' rapid rattle can patter out their hasty orisons,'
are two lines that imply that instead of prayers, the soldiers
received the firing of bullets. 'Stuttering' is an onomatopoei.
Alliteration is used on the 'r' sounds to emphasise the sounds of
destruction that were occurring.
'No mockeriesâ€¦no prayers nor bellsâ€¦nor choirs,' is the start of the
fith line and tells the horrible way in which the soldiers leave the
world and that instead of having a decent funeral these soldiers who
have died fighting for their country received 'The shrill demented
choirs of wailing shells and bugles.' 'Shrill' is a hard word that
creates the image that the 'funeral' was not a quiet and peaceful way
of saying goodbye to the soldiers. It creates a very piercing sound
and is a harsh word. The word 'demented' is used to describe the
shells. This conjures up...