The Old Lie!

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The Old Lie! Dolce et Decorum Est is an anti-war poem written by Wilfred Owen. It is due to his frustration and anger against the people who use the old lie, it is sweet and right to die for your country, which is a translation of the poem “Dulce et Decorum Est”. Through this poem, Owen who himself took part in World War 1, has no difficulty to convince us that the horrors that took and balance the idea of those who encourage war. The poems theme is taken on and created throughout the use of many poetic devices and appeals such as imaginative appeal, sensual appeal as well as intellectual appeal. In the first stanza, Owen sets the scene through the use of imaginative appeal. This stanza contains a lot of simile and metaphors that show the readers how crushed these men are physically and mentally. The line “Till on the haunting flares we turned ours backs” suggests that Soldiers are turning their back to the lights of the battle field. Being exhausted, their knees are touching, “knock-kneed”, tired of supporting their heavy backpack he compares the condition of the poor soldiers to “old beggars” and “hags”, “like old beggars under sacks”. They are in so much pain, they are not even hearing the noise made by the shells rushing through the air “deaf even to the hoots” they are in a stage of numbness. In a way they are almost dead, like zombies or robots, all they do is follow orders. Owen creates a vivid idea in the reader’s head of how terrible these conditions are through the use of metaphors and similes. In the second stanza, using the sensual appeal, the author is focusing on one man who in this case was Owens friend. Due to stress and fatigue he was not able to put his gas mask in time. The author describes the pain of hi... ... middle of paper ... so much and that the devil has caused so much pain and misery to us that he is given up. Owen also uses sarcasm to show the people at home how gullible they are for believing wat is a good thing. In line 25, “my friend you would not tell with such high zest”. Owen makes reference to “my friend” in an ironic way, trying to make them understand that if they had witnessed those scenes, they would never repeat this revolting lie to children, with such unrealistic enthusiasm towards war, “with such high zest”. In conclusion, Wilfred Owens anti-war poem successfully demonstrates the horrors of war. The poems theme is an anti-war, trying to show the horrid experience men went through during World War 1. In order for this theme to have been created Owen uses of many poetic devices and appeals such as imaginative appeal, sensual appeal as well as intellectual appeal.
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