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Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

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War in Poetry War is a gruesome, horrid thing that has been around ever since people have disagreed. So it is no wonder why war has always had its place in poetry. Thomas Hardy and Wilfred Owen have distinct views on the effects of war on the people involved. They also came from different backgrounds, values, beliefs, and life experiences that shaped their views on war. Even though the poets came from contrasting backgrounds, they were able to personalize war to make it hit a chord with the reader and display the bleak reality of war that regular citizens may not have realized, Hardy, through emotional pain and Owen, through imagery. In “Dulce et Decorum Est”, Owen successfully illustrates the physical punishment that war deals out to its soldiers. Throughout the first stanza, there is a great deal of imagery that gives the reader a good look at what war is like for soldiers who are, “knock-kneed, coughing like hags” (line 2) which shows visual and auditory imagery. The line continues with “we cursed through sludge” (line 2) with both auditory and kinesthetic imagery and ends with the soldiers “ limp[ing] on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind” (line 6). Owen follows with more auditory imagery, “deaf even to the hoots/ Of gas-shells dropping softly behind” (line 7-8). The reader feels like he or she is actually in the war with all of the noises Owen projects in the poem. Owen uses all senses in the first stanza to put the reader into the shoes of the soldiers that were risking their lives. The second stanza is about a chaotic gas attack that the soldier went through, and Owen successfully creates the scene so the reader can feel what it would be like to be in a gas attack. The reader feels like he or she is in the gas attack ... ... middle of paper ... ...d. Web. 05 Feb. 2014. Hughes, John. "Owen's DULCE ET DECORUM EST." Explicator 64.3 (2006): 164-166. Academic Search Complete. Web. 29 Jan. 2014. Jacobson, Dan. "Thomas Hardy." American Scholar 65.1 (1996): 114. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Feb. 2014. Richards, Jill. "The History Of Error": Hardy's Critics And The Self Unseen." Victorian Poetry 45.2 (2007): 117-133. Academic Search Complete. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. "The Man He Killed." By Thomas Hardy : The Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2014. "Thomas Hardy." : The Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2014. Owen, Wilfred. "Dulce Et Decorum Est." Poemhunter.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014. "Wilfred Owen." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2013): 1. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Feb. 2014. "Wilfred Owen." : The Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2014.
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