Literary Analysis: Dulce Et Decorum Est And The Unknown Citizen

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Literary Analysis: Dulce et Decorum est & The Unknown Citizen Verbal irony is something that can be used in our everyday life. Auden’s poem’s title, “The Unknown Citizen” begins with a verbal irony. Owen mocks war in his poem, “Dulce et Decorum Est” by showing how sweet and fitting it is to die for one’s country. Both of the poems use irony to present to the reader the pity of war, how there is nothing heroic about the “unknown citizen” and how the two poets have a similar intention on writing these poems.

"Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen is filled with irony to demonstrate the true realistic nature of war. This poem is the most miserable illustration of war and how people’s lives are lost in seconds, whether they’re prepared or
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However, Owen uses this word to show the results of the toxic gas on the solider. This wording is used to evoke the sense of fear to the readers. Once again this is referred to the irony of the title. Hence, the title is shown as deceptive and that dying for your country is harsh rather than sweet. In the line “The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori” (Lines 27-28) Owen reveals his real intention and portrays the irony of the poem. Therefore, the readers realize that it’s miserable and tormenting to die for one’s country. After the death of soldiers nobody remembers them and no one understands the pity of the war since they are in stuck in a false belief that it’s sweet to die for one’s country.

W.H Auden’s poem “The Unknown Citizen” is dissimilar to “Dulce et Decorum est” because of its novelty however, an unclear idea is presented to the readers again. This poem has an unpleasant, sarcastic and harsh double meaning. The “unknown citizen” is labeled as a number, “JS/07/M/378” which shows that he really is unknown. The man was “found by Bureau of Statistics” which makes it appear as if he wasn’t a human being and just another number. Auden then states
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Before the realization of the irony, things are definitely not what they appear. The irony creates the poems to be astonishing and the descriptions are complete which reinforces the poems. Auden and Owen’s poems have an ironic portrayal in the title and in the poem. Owen’s poem “Dulce et Decorum est” is ironic for stating how sweet it is to die for one’s country but later on it reveals that it’s rather harsh to die for one’s country. Likewise, “The Unknown Citizen” by Auden contains an irony in its title. It is a satire of “The Unknown Soldier” which used to identify people whose bodies are discovered after a war but cannot be recognized. Both of these two poems covey the futility of the average individual. In Auden’s poem the unknown citizen is identified by a number, “JS/07/M/378” which indicates that he truly is unidentified. Also, the unknown citizen is presented as a conformist who has all the morals the society expects. Moreover, things like “Greater Community,” “Union,” “Social Psychology,” “Producers Research,” “High Grade Living,” “Public Opinion,” and “Eugenist” are capitalized to show they have more importance than the unknown citizen. Similarly, the soldiers who die after war are forgotten and their absence is not affected to anyone. People may still believe that it is sweet to die for one’s country but that is not the truth. Owen reveals

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