An Analysis Of Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'

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Wilfred Owen fought in the First World War and believed that “All a poet can do is warn that is why the true poet must be truthful.” (Wilfred Owen 1918,) Therefore, Owen believed that his duty as a poet and as a young soldier was to inform the world that the war was not as it was perceived to be. “Dulce et Decorum est” unveiled the agonizing truth of war and showed that it was not heroic or honourable, but was instead traumatizing and horrific.
Firstly, Owen uses imagery, representing his fellow soldiers as becoming disfigured and unrecognisable. He begins “Dulce...” by presenting them as “beggars,” “blind,” “drunk,” and “deaf.” suggesting the once-young males have become as useless as “beggars:”reduced humans who have no purpose in life,
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Mika Teachout,(1997) states “if there is music in Owen’s poem, it is a dirge for the dying.” Therefore, the use of iambic pentameter could also replicate a commemorative song for the deceased, presenting an underlying sense of depression and melancholy throughout. However, Owen disturbs this meter by using spondees, such as “knock-kneed,” reflecting the horrifying nature of war, because it breaks up the flow of the iambic pentameter, just as war had broken men both mentally and physically. Previous poets had used iambic pentameter in their propaganda war poetry to elevate war, and Owen uses it ironically to convey the opposite message, which undermines previous deceitful works and shows that although his work is disturbing, it is also the …show more content…
“Watch the white eyes writhing in his face,” uses words starting with “w,” suggesting he is livid with the unfair deaths of his fellow soldiers, due to the harsh tones it creates when read. He demands we “watch” the horrific site that we were blinded too due to the “Old Lie”; thus forcing the truth upon us. The line also contains an “i” sound within the words, to suggest a literal eye, where the soldier watches us as his eyes are “writhing in his face.” creating a feeling of guilt from the reader and Owen, as we are helpless to the fact that we cannot save him and his death was

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