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

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

Length: 717 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Imagery and Metaphor in Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est    


The poem is one of the most powerful ways to convey an idea or opinion.  Through vivid imagery and compelling metaphors, the poem gives the reader the exact feeling the author wanted.  The poem "Dulce et Decorum Est," an anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen, 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.

        The poem's use of excellent diction helps to more clearly define what the author is saying.  Words like "guttering", "choking", and "drowning" not only show how the man is suffering, but that he is in terrible pain that no human being should endure.  Other words like writhing and froth-corrupted say precisely how the man is being tormented.  Moreover, the phrase "blood shod" shows how the troops have been on their feet for days, never resting.  Also, the fact that the gassed man was "flung" into the wagon reveals the urgency and occupation with fighting. The only thing they can do is toss him into a wagon.  The fact one word  can add to the meaning so much shows how the diction of this poem adds greatly to its effectiveness.

        Likewise, the use of figurative language in this poem also helps to emphasize the points that are being made.  As Perrine says, people use metaphors because they say "...what  we want to say more vividly and forcefully..."  Owen capitalizes greatly on this by using strong metaphors and similes.  Right off in the first line, he describes the troops as being "like old beggars under sacks."  This not only says that they are tired, but that they are so tired they have been brought down to the level of beggars who have not slept in a bed for weeks on end.  Owen also compares the victim's face to the devil, seeming corrupted and baneful.  A metaphor even more effective is one that compares "...vile, incurable sores..." with the memories of the troops.  It not only tells the reader how the troops will never forget the experience, but also how they are frightening tales, ones that will the troops will never be able to tell without remembering the extremely painful experience.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Imagery and Metaphor in Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est." 123HelpMe.com. 26 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=5041>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

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

- Imagery and Metaphor in Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est     The poem is one of the most powerful ways to convey an idea or opinion.  Through vivid imagery and compelling metaphors, the poem gives the reader the exact feeling the author wanted.  The poem "Dulce et Decorum Est," an anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen, 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....   [tags: Dulce et Decorum Est Essays]

Free Essays
717 words (2 pages)

Essay on Explication of Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

- Explication of "Dulce Et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen ?Dulce Et Decorum Est. belongs to the genre of sonnets, which expresses a single theme or idea. The allusion or reference is to an historical event referred to as World War I. This particular poem's theme or idea is the horror of war and how young men are led to believe that death and honor are same. The poem addresses the falsehood, that war is glorious, that it is noble, it describes the true horror and waste that is war, this poem exhibits the gruesome imagery of World War I, it also conveys Owens strongly anti-war sentiments to the reader....   [tags: essays research papers owen decorum]

Research Papers
780 words (2.2 pages)

Dulce Et Decorum Est By Wilfred Owen Essay

- Dulce Et Decorum Est Analysis Dulce Et Decorum Est is a poem written by the acclaimed Wilfred Owen. He is recognized in English history to be the greatest writer of war. Which may be because he was able to experience the reality of war for himself. It was during the midst of his traumatic vulnerability in the battlefield that sustained him in writing some of the greatest poems about WW1, including Dulce Et Decorum. It all started on October 21st, 1915 when he volunteered to join the war. Feeling guilty and pressured from all the propagandas, he blindly joined the battle, not knowing the horrors he was soon to face....   [tags: Poetry, Rhyme, Line, Dulce et Decorum Est]

Research Papers
1356 words (3.9 pages)

Astonishing Imagery in Wilfred Owen's Poem, Dulce et Decorum Est Essay

- 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. Owen opens his poem with a strong simile that compares the soldiers to old people that may be hunch-backed....   [tags: Dulce et Decorum Est]

Research Papers
504 words (1.4 pages)

Wilfred Owen's Poetry and War Essay

- Wilfred Owen's Poetry and War Wilfred Owen is now seen as one of the most important of the many poets of the First World War. He was born the son of a railway worker in Shropshire, and educated at schools in Shrewsbury and Liverpool. His devoted mother encouraged his early interests in music and poetry. When he could not afford a university education, he went abroad to teach English in France. He was there when war broke out in 1914, and decided to return to England to volunteer for the army. After training, he became an officer and was sent to France at the end of 1916, seeing service first in the Somme sector....   [tags: Wilfred Owen Poetry Poems War Essays]

Research Papers
2646 words (7.6 pages)

Anger and Injustice Described in Wilfred Owen's Poem Dulce et Decorum est

- 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. Wilfred Owen emphasises the condition of the men in order to show the reader the effect that the war had on the soldiers....   [tags: Dulce et Decorum est, poetry]

Research Papers
1040 words (3 pages)

Essay on Wilfred Owen's War Poetry

- Wilfred Owen's War Poetry If Wilfred Owen's war poetry had one main aim, it would be to expose "the old lie": that war is always a good and justified thing and that it is a good thing to die for one's country. Owen had experienced first hand the horrors and tragedies of the First World War, so he inevitably wanted to break open the false façade and let the world know the truth. I am going to explore what I find to be three of his best poems and show how he achieved this aim. Owen was born on the 18th of March 1893 in Shropshire, England....   [tags: Wilfred Owen War Poetry Poems Literature Essays]

Research Papers
2786 words (8 pages)

Dulce Et Docorum Est by Wilfred Owen Essays

- Dulce Et Docorum Est by Wilfred Owen The World War One poet, Wilfred Owen, wrote two poems named ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ and ‘Disabled’. The main themes running throughout both poems are that of the pain and worthlessness of war, and the crime towards the young soldiers it was. The beginning and ending of these two poems link these ideas through the use of imagery contrast and language features. The poem ‘disabled’ begins by describing a physically and mentally destroyed soldier, clearly a result of war, welcoming darkness to come and end his misery by taking him away....   [tags: Wilfred Owen Poetry Analysis]

Free Essays
843 words (2.4 pages)

Analysis Of Wilfred Owen 's ' Dulce Et Decorum Est ' And ' Strange Meeting '

- 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....   [tags: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori]

Research Papers
1465 words (4.2 pages)

It's Not Sweet and Right to Die for Your Country: "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfird Owen

- Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfird Owen is written about the First World War. The title means its sweet and right, but the story behind it is totally different to the title, which is ironic. The poet clearly mentions the horrible and appalling conditions that happened to soldiers in the First World War. The techniques that have been mentioned in the poem are imagery, language, and tone. The poet changes his tone of voice to angry and bitter, as he explains and describes the horrifying image that happened around him in the war....   [tags: Wilfird Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est, World War I, ]

Research Papers
611 words (1.7 pages)

Related Searches

  These comparisons illustrate the point  so vividly that they increase the effectiveness of the poem.

        The most important means of developing the effectiveness of the poem is the graphic imagery.  They evoke such emotions so as to cause people to become sick.  The images can draw such pictures that no other poetic means can, such as in line twenty-two: "Come gargling from the froth corrupted lungs."  This can be disturbing to think about.  It shows troops being brutally slaughtered very vividly, evoking images in the reader's mind.  In the beginning of the poem the troops were portrayed as "drunk with fatigue."  With this you can almost imagine large numbers of people dragging their boots through the mud, tripping over their own shadow.  Later in the poem when the gas was dropped, it painted a psychological image that would disturb the mind.  The troops were torn out of their nightmarish walk and surrounded by gas bombs.  How everyone, in "an ecstasy of fumbling" was forced to run out into the  mist, unaware of their fate.  Anyone wanting to fight in a war would become nervous at the image of himself running out into a blood bath.  The graphic images displayed here are profoundly affecting and can never be forgotten.

        The poem ties it all together in the last few lines.  In Latin, the phrase "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.
Return to 123HelpMe.com