Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori

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“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” or “it is sweet and right to die for one 's country,” is a saying by the great Roman poet Horace. It was used to instill a glory and honor of war in the people going off to fight. During the World War 1 era this was the general feeling of going off to war at the beginning, it was going to be full of honor and glory. Wilfred Owen was one of the youth to get shipped off to war during WWI. While at war he wrote a myriad of poems but the most memorable one, Dulce et Decorum Est, is Owen’s masterpiece. Owen wrote during a very dark and gruesome war and instead of romanticizing it he showed the war as it really was. To some degree, Owen was writing to combat the image of a glorified war and how it was sweet and right to die. He witnessed his comrades die in agony and pain which didn’t seem to align with the ideals of war. Dulce et Decorum Est is part of the emerging ironic sensibility of war during this era because Owen expresses the opposite of what war traditionally was depicted as: full of glory, honor, and grandeur. Instead he shows that the war was not beautiful and honorable, but rather full of death and despair by being ironic using imagery, language and diction, and an interesting poetic form. Paul Fussell Wrote When you first read Dulce Et Decorum Est the main thing that sticks out is the vivid imagery used by Owen. Right from the start the poem jumps in to soldiers trudging along. Owen uses metaphors in the first lines to paint the picture: “Bent double, like old beggars, coughing like hags” (1-2). He molds this image of these beat up, “drunk with fatigue” (7), exhausted soldiers walking like zombies back to their camp. You can only imagine what they have been through so far if they ar... ... middle of paper ... ...now it is stretched out to 12 lines. It’s almost as if the speaker is so out of it he’s just rambling on about this dead body and how it haunts him. Then in the last lines he makes a final stand, you better think twice before saying the old lie. Ducle et Decorum Est paints a picture of what World War I was really like. The poem didn’t glorify the war or put it on the pedestal as other writers did at the time. Owen tells it how it is. He shows us a horrible and gruesome part of the war very vividly that still haunts the speaker. This poem is ironic because it the title is “it is sweet and proper” but what is so sweet and proper about soldier walking like zombies and a soldier dying in agonizing pain. This poem cuts down the idea of dying for one’s country to be a great thing and very peaceful but instead shows that war is no joke and is not something to take lightly.
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