Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

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Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

In the poem, 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen, the social

climate of the World War I era is reflected through the poet's use of

vivid imagery and poetic techniques. The poem itself presents an a

blunt impression of the world through its linking of ideas and

language in its text. The poem addresses the falsehood that war is

glorious, that it is noble, it describes the true horror and waste

that is war, with the aim of changing the way in which society thinks

about conflict.


The poem epitomises the futility and pointlessness of war. Not only is

war a shocking waste of life, but it is ultimately barbarous and

pointless act as World War I so horrendously demonstrated to the world

powers. The graphic horror of war is presented through a series of

images which are designed to demolish the notion of war being a

patriotic and meaningful adventure. The one particularly vivid image

that got to me was that of the lone soldier who doesn't fasten his

mask fast enough and suffers from the full effects of deadly gas:

'In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.'

And then:

'If you could hear at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues.'

Owen generates two powerful images aimed at discouraging the mere

thought of war by its emotionally distressing descriptions. The way in

which Owen moved the images from a general concept to personal

illustration by addressing the reader directly, 'If you could

hear' ...

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circumstance. Owen is, effectively, placing the blame of the war's

consequences squarely on the shoulders of the society that supports



Wilfred Owen's extremely powerful poem, 'Dulce Et Decorum Est'

thoroughly criticises the ideology of war being 'a sweet and glorious

way to die, fighting for one's country'. The combination of vivid

imagery and poetic devices work to evoke a horrible anti-war feeling

in the reader and encourage them to act and cease the on-going

violence in the world. With powerful imagery and simple language, Owen

allows the poem to be understood by the public at large so as to

influence as many people as possible. The power of ideology is

revealed and skilfully condemned by Owen's masterful writing of poetry

and war is appropriately presented as the hideous thing it is.
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