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Dulce Et Decorum Est Essay

695 words - 3 pages

“Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen takes its title from the Latin phrase that means “It is sweet and becoming to die for one’s country”. Quite often the barbaric nature of war is over romanticized and the author uses this title satirically to mock the public’s deluded view of war. The poem graphically describes the hell soldiers have to endure in their everyday battle for survival. These are tragedies of war that only veterans can fully understand and Wilfred Owen tries to enlighten the general public of these tragedies through imagery and similes throughout his poem.
The speaker lets the reader know right away about the reality of war. The invincible, fearless soldiers that are envisioned by the reader are quickly transformed into weary, fear-stricken boys. As the soldiers were marching back from the battlefield they are described as “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks” (line 1). This shows that the soldiers in the poem are burdened mentally and physically by the weight of the terrors of war and are so tired they are comparable to beggars. “Knock-kneed, coughing like hags” (line 2) further emphasizes how physically exhausted the soldiers are – to the point to where it is challenging to walk. The phrase “Men marched asleep.” (line 5) is almost comparing the men to zombies by showing how demoralized they were and that the men had accepted that they would probably die in this war. The author uses the word “blood-shod” (line 6) to describe the soldier’s boots; this indicates that the men have been on their feet for days and were literally wearing their own blood as shoes. In the last line of the first stanza, the author personifies the gas-bombs that drop behind the soldiers by describing them as “tired, outstripped” (line 8) insinuating that even the bombs themselves are tired of the war – tired of killing innocent men.
The imagery painted in this poem give the reader a vividly morbid view of the realities of war. While the soldiers are under gas attack, the...

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