Analysis Of Wilfred Owen 's ' Dulce Et Decorum Est ' And ' Anthem For Doomed Youth '

Analysis Of Wilfred Owen 's ' Dulce Et Decorum Est ' And ' Anthem For Doomed Youth '

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Human conflict is a violent confrontation between groups of people due to differences in values and beliefs. During World War I, poet and soldier, Wilfred Owen, faced the harsh realities of human conflict, dying at a young age of 25, only six days before the war ended. Owen’s personal encounters during war had a profound influence on his life as reflected in the poems and letters he wrote before his passing. In using a variety of poetic devices to write about the suffering and brutality of war, vividly captured in his poems ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, Owen effectively conveys his own perspective about human conflict. ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ depicts the horrific scenes on the battlefield and a grotesque death from drowning in gas whilst ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ illustrates the death of the soldiers. Both poems describe the physical and emotional suffering and loss of youthful lives as a consequence of war. With these ideas, Owen challenges society’s perspective on human conflicts, specifically war, by emotionally stirring his readers.

To evoke our emotions and open our eyes to the realities of war, Owen portrays the physical and mental suffering faced by soldiers during the battles. As Fiennes noted, the agonies and horrors of war were not shown to the conscripted young men. Instead, they only saw the honourable and heroic side of war, what they only read in the classical literature. However, Within ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’, Owen was able to ‘capture another dimension of war’, the reality and truth behind the suffering. He shows the exhaustion of the soldiers in a simile, ‘Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,’ comparing them to ‘old beggars,’ showing a lost of semblance to humanity. This attacks the...


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...m for the Doomed Youth” shows that the death of the young soldiers negatively affects the people around them.

Thus, through the use of various poetic devices in both “Dulce et Decorum Est” and “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” Owen has effectively shown society that human conflict results in suffering and the death of youthful lives. Importantly, Owen depicts that the physical hardships endured by soldiers during the battles also persists emotionally and mentally, well after the war has ended, and affects those around them. As a consequence, Owen’s commentary on the impact of war challenges our ideas of war as glorious and heroic, evoking our sense of sorrow and realisation that human conflict is destructive. As the audience, we are left with great insight into the harsh realities of WWI and hence, a tremendous appreciation for the endless sacrifices made to foster peace.

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