Phonaesthetics

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  • The Last Laugh By Wilfred Owen Essay

    Between the years of 1914 to 1918, approaching 1 million British soldiers gave up their lives fighting for King and country (greatwar.co.uk). Wilfred Owens, one of the greater known first world war poets, was one of these. He died at the age of twenty-five, only a week away from armistice, leaving behind approaching 100 poems. Despite his early death, Owen’s poetry has immortalized him, passing to future generations both his experience and sentiments regarding the first world war. Like many at his time, as the war developed, Owen found himself disillusioned with the war effort. His disenchanted sentiment is greatly expressed in his cynical poem, ‘The Last Laugh’ wherein Owen illustrates the truly inglorious nature of war. Wilfred Owens utilizes a cynical tone in the ‘Last Laugh’ to express the inglorious nature of war. The poem commences with an abrupt caesura, briefly describing a soldier crying out ‘O Jesus Christ! I’m hit,’ (1) before he suddenly ‘died’(1). The caesura, in the form of the colon before ‘and died’(1) and the end stopping immediately after, slow down the poem. This brief reference to the death of the soldier starts the poem on a very curt note – describing death in such a blunt manner creates a very cynical tone. The abruptness appears shocking to the reader, dramatically breaking the convention of glorifying tributes that fallen soldiers received towards the beginning of the war. This encapsulates the true nature of dying in war – thousands of soldiers…

    Words: 1097 - Pages: 5
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