It is clear when a country goes to war, patriotism and support for ones’ country is obvious. After events of nine eleven, there were large amount of support given to soldiers fighting in Iraq. Banners, stickers, rallies were some ways people showed their gratitude. Little do they know, many of the strong men, who are in battle, goes through an episode where they fear death more than anything else. In the writings of William B. Yeats and Wilfred Owens, their war poems depicts an emotional load that they have encountered, to a point where death was no longer a fear but a desire.
Wilfred Owen wrote about the distilled pity of war from his first-hand experience. Owen concisely features the carnage and destruction of war in both the poems, ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and ‘Strange Meeting’ Owen uses these poems document the psychological and physical debilitation of war. In ‘Dulce et Decorum est’, Owen uses a various amount of literary techniques to visually depict the cruel and grotesque death from the mustard gas whereas ‘Strange Meeting’, portrays the speaker in conversation with a dead soldier that he is presumably responsible for killing, symbolically which emphasises the effect of the wartime trauma. Wilfred Owen’s poetry effectively highlights the carnage and destruction of war to educate the audience on the disillusionment of war.
Dolce et Decorum Est is the product of Wilfred Owen’s frustration, not only against those who repeat the old lie “Dulce et Decorum Est”, in other words, it is sweet and right to die for your country, but also against a certain kind of poetry. Through his poem, Owen who himself took part in World War 1, has no difficulty to convince us that the horrors that took place at this moment far outweighs the idea of those who encourage war. In this essay, I will approach the symbolic significance of the poem by analysing each stanza.
In a poem titled "Dulce et Decorum Est", life in the trenches is graphically detailed to paint a vivid picture of World War I fighting techniques for the reader. Many others wrote about the injustices and cruelties of war at this time, but only one, Wilfred Owen, did so in such a permanent and meaningful way. Owen is known as one of the most infamous WWI poets, and has undoubtedly had more impact on the public conscience of the tragedy of war than any other writer of his generation.
The poem ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen portrays the horrors of World War I with the horrific imagery and the startling use of words he uses. He describes his experience of a gas attack where he lost a member of his squadron and the lasting impact it had on him. He describes how terrible the conditions were for the soldiers and just how bad it was. By doing this he is trying to help stop other soldiers from experiencing what happened in a shortage of time.
Similarly, Wilfred Owen’s poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” describes a soldier who witnesses the death of his comrade from poisonous gas. Using imagery and irony, Owen presents a blunt contrast between the propaganda practiced for recruitment and the truth behind the suffering endured by the soldiers. While presented in different formats, both literary works criticize the romanticism of war, arguing that there is no glory in the suffering and killing caused by conflict.
Owen as a young soldier held the same romantic view on war as majority of the other naive soldiers who thought that war would be an exciting adventure. The documentary extract illustrates how markedly Owen’s perspective of the war changed, as noted in a letter to his mother while he was still in the front lines: “But extra for me, there is the universal perversion of ugliness, the distortion of the dead ... that is what saps the soldierly spirit.” In ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’, Owen’s change of heart is evident through the irony of the poem title and the ending line “The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est, Pro patria mori.”, an allusion to the Roman axiom made famous by Horace, which translates to “The old Lie; It is sweet and right to die for your country.”. The line depicts Owen’s realisation that the horrific nature of war through human conflict is not sweet and right at all, rather, it is appalling and “bitter as the cud” as death is always present on the battlefield. Additionally, Owen indirectly responds to Jessie Pope’s poetry, a pro-war poetess, through the reference “My friend, you would not tell with such high zest… The old lie…”, further highlighting his changed perspective towards the war which has been influenced
There are aspects of war that one cannot understand if they never witness it. The lack of connection with soldiers on the battlefield only fuel citizens who want to fight. Wilfred Owen’s poems paint a picture of being on the field to people who do not have this experience. He describes the emotions, thoughts, and struggles of living in the combat zone.
On the first read-through of Wilfred Owen’s Dulce et Decorum Est it seems to just be a poem describing a soldiers experience in World War I, but there is much more to the story than that. Through the use of several literary techniques, Owen is able to vividly describe the speaker’s experiences and at the same time make them relatable to the people reading the poem. He also is able to criticize the people who he thinks are at least partly responsible for “tricking” a younger, more gullible him into the situation in the first place.
The poem "Dulce et Decorum est" was written by Wilfred Owen during World War One, and is probably the most popular war-poem ever written.The title is part of the Latin phrase 'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori' which means 'It is sweet and right to die for your country'. Wilfred Owen saw the war first-hand and this poem is about a gas attack that he witnessed. Throughout this poem Owen gives the sense of anger and injustice through the use of many different poetic techniques.