Dulce Et Decorum Poem Analysis

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Throughout history, few conflicts have been that horrific like the First World War. Being one of its combatants, the English poet Wilfred Owen was one of the first to question military propaganda which defended the old Latin proverb: “Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori”; meaning ‘it is sweet and glorious to die for one’s country’. With nothing else than words, he created a distinguished and innovative masterpiece that condemned the grandeur of war by picturing how cruel and deranged the reality in the front was. As I will discuss, language is one of the main and significant parts of the composition. All through the poem, Owen meticulously exploited every word so as to create a particular rhythm, imagery and tone that empower the impact of the overall work on the reader’s emotions.
Firstly, the poem opens with the picture of a group of soldiers overcome by the brutality of the trenches. Their old ambitions of gory and honour have vanished as they have faced the reality of the combat. They are “bent double”,
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He wanted to make people aware of the real situation in the trenches, which was very different from the one patriotic and military propaganda used to diffuse. Thus, in Dulce et Decorum the poet got to express the inexpressible: the whole atmosphere of dread and anxiety surrounding the war and its soldiers. The excellent use language; combining imagery, tone, rhythm and rhetorical figures; makes the reader feel unpleased by imagining vividly and empathising with the soldiers’ horror. Moreover, it also makes us listen to Owen’s voice carefully when he appeals to “[his] friend” at the end of the work. Everything in the poem is precisely composed to create a raw and bitter emotion in the reader’s heart. An emotion through which Owen awares those people “ardent for some desperate glory” that there is actually nothing “dulce et decorum” in dying for one’s country in the

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