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"Dulce Et Decorum Est" By Wilfred Owen

900 words - 4 pages

Theme: Affliction and a soldier's experience of warfare."Dulce ET Decorum Est" is a war poem, so there is not a particular audience that the poet is addressing. All that Wilfred is trying to convey is how abysmal the conditions were during the war (First World War). This is reflected through the poet's use of vivid imagery and literal devices. The setting of this poem is on a very cold morning, during the First World War. At the time poem is taking place the soldiers were fighting in trenches. The poet makes us aware of how cold and difficult the conditions were inside the trenches by using the simile, "Coughing like hags"The poem starts by telling you that the soldiers had a long and difficult walk back to their camp. The state in which these soldiers were in during the march is also wholly brought to light in the first stanza. We get to know that they were very exhausted and worn out of energy. The poet makes this known to us by using the hyperbole 'Men marched asleep." Many had lost their boots but limped on ... blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots". This shows us the scary aspect of war.The image of them marching slowly, bloody and 'drunk', evokes similar feelings of tiredness in the reader. These feelings are suddenly interrupted by, 'Gas! Gas! Quick boys!" in the second stanza. Here, the poet suddenly brings live an event of a gas attack. There is a sudden outcry for all the soldiers to take cover from the poisonous gas which is very likely could have been used as a weapon. This was a hard time, as they now had to run about in all directions, to take cover, yet we know from the first stanza that they were very exhausted. This creates a feeling of empathy for the soldiers. This gas attack brings about a lot of disorder and confusion and all the soldiers rush to get their helmets; the poet makes this known to us by using the metaphor, "An ecstasy of fumbling", to describe the disorderliness caused by the gas attack. In this metaphor Owen is also being sarcastic. This is because he is comparing such an atrocious situation to an ecstasy or as if the soldiers were running happily all over the place, yet in true sense these soldiers were running away to take cover from the poisonous gas and they were far from happy. It is very likely that the soldiers were getting their helmets to take cover from the gas attack. However, the poet also makes it known to us that some of the...

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