The Powerful Imagery In Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est

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In Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est” he employs an intense tone and a powerful imagery. Owen uses powerful and dramatic vision to portray the horrors of the war effectively. His first image of soldiers “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, / Knocked-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge” (1-2) shows the exhaustion these men faced daily. The viewer can understand that the soldiers were tired and exhausted from walking. They march like old mentally and physically hurt people away from the battle and return to their base. Sargent strengthens his arguments using strong descriptive words and vivid figurative language, which helps to reveal the reality of war. With “Gas! Gas! Quick, boys-- An ecstasy of fumbling, / Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time” (9-10). Owen uses sound effects to project the serious, harsh and discordant tone of the poem. Owen puts the images into the reader’s mind in the way he writes …show more content…
Since there is nothing sweet about the war, Owen demonstrates how horrible war actually is and he warns the next generation and other people not to send young innocent lives to war. What is more valuable? Family, Friends, Love, Life or the courage to fight for the country? Whole generations of young men lost the youth or even their lives because of the war. He compares between his personal experiences with a national rhetoric, he uses a Latin expression which is “The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est / Pro patria mori” (27-28), which means in English “It is sweet and glorious to die for one’s country” (Myrick). In the end, the poem conveys with “the old lie” (27) the patriotic lie that prompts wars is the major falsehood of human history. With this old lie or cliché, Owen emphasizes that it is not glory and good to die for a country in a battle. The Poem is highly effective in showing the hideous, cold-hearted, and horrifying effects of

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