Analysis of Anthem For Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen

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Analysis of Anthem For Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen

The first poem that I am to analyse is 'Anthem for Doomed Youth,'

written by Wilfred Owen. This poem is a sonnet. It has fourteen lines.

In this poem, the first and fourth lines rhyme, as do the second and

third. The first stanza is mainly about the battlefield, whereas the

second stanza is more about the feelings of friends and family back at


This poem starts off at a quick pace, and then slows down throughout

the poem, drawing to a slow and sombre close. Throughout this poem the

feel of a war style funeral is compared and contrasted to the ways in

which men died in the war.

The title 'Anthem for Doomed Youth,' gives you a first impression of a

sad poem. 'Anthem' is normally, and in my eyes a song that is sung in

churches. The word 'Doomed' is used to suggest that the soldiers are

alive but have an inevitable death, it symbolises death and conjures

up the image that the soldiers are on a journey to hell. The word

'Youth' is used to remind the reader that these soldiers were only

young men, with their whole lives ahead of them, but this has now been


The opening line 'What passing bells for these who die as cattle?'

uses a simile to conjure up the image of a slaughterhouse. It creates

the image of mass burials, as the 'cattle' are being slaughtered. It

highlights the sacrifice that the soldiers gave. This opening line is

a question to the reader in order to make them think more about the

poem. The poem seems to give the reader a chance to step into a

soldier's shoes in order to experience his feelings.. 'Only the

monstrous anger of the guns' is the answer...

... middle of paper ...

...wn. Seeing people getting killed, it

must be of the same experience. So yes, my preference is the charge of

the light brigade, at least they got decent funerals compared to the

soldiers in anthem for doomed youth.

In conclusion, I felt that Wilfred Owen captures the reality of the

war in this very moving poem. By emphasising the number of deaths of

the innocent he outlines the severity of the war. And I like the fact

that because of his first hand experience, he wrote what this in a way

that no other could, he wrote what he saw before him, in the eyes of

his fellow men and soldiers.

He showed people that war was not at all glamorous like many pre

twentieth century war poets had made it out to be. Wilfred Owen

brought to light the truth. He was talking from his own experience so

his poems have more of an impact.