Use of Imagery and Metaphor in Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est

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Use of Imagery and Metaphor in Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est Through vivid imagery and compelling metaphors "Dulce et Decorum Est" gives the reader the exact feeling the author wanted. The poem is an anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen and makes great use of these devices. This poem is very effective because of its excellent manipulation of the mechanical and emotional parts of poetry. Owen's use of exact diction and vivid figurative language emphasizes his point, showing that war is terrible and devastating. Furthermore, the utilization of extremely graphic imagery adds even more to his argument. Through the effective use of all three of these tools, this poem conveys a strong meaning and persuasive argument. To have a better understanding of the poem, it is important to understand some of Wilfred Owen?s history. Owen enlisted in the Artists? Rifles on October 21st 1915. He was eventually drafted to France in 1917. The birth of Owen?s imagery style used in his more famous poems was during his stay at Craiglockhart War Hospital, where he met Siegfried Sassoon (another great war poet). Owen?s new style (the one that was used in "Dulce et Decorum Est") embelished many poems between August 1917 and Septermber 1918 (Spartacus Internet Encyclopedia). On November 4, 1918, Wilfred Owed was killed by enemy machine gun fire as he tried to get his company across the Sambre Canal (Lane 167). The poem tells of a trip that Owen and his platoon of exhausted soldiers had while they were painfully making their way back to base after a harrowing time at the battlefront when a gas shell was fired at them. As a result of this, a soldier in his platoon was fatally gassed. Owen has arranged the poem in three sectio... ... middle of paper ... ...rase "Dulce et decorum est pro partria mori" means, "It is sweet and becoming to die for one's country." Owen calls this a lie by using good diction, vivid comparisons, and graphic images to have the reader feel disgusted at what war is capable of. This poem is extremely effective as an anti-war poem, making war seem absolutely horrid and revolting, just as the author wanted it to. Works Cited Lane, Arthur E. An Adequate Response. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1972. Owen, Wilfred. "Dulce et Decorum Est". Literature and the Writing Process. Fifth ed. Ed. Elizabeth McMahhan, et al. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999. 582-583. "Owen, Wilfred," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2000. htt:// "Wilfred Owen." Spartacus Internet Encyclopedia 2000.

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