Essay on Wilfred Owen : The Best And Most Influential War Poet

Essay on Wilfred Owen : The Best And Most Influential War Poet

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Wilfred Owen is a British war poet who among many is highly regarded to be the best and most influential war poet during the First World War. He was known for his successful use of war themed imagery and the poetic devices he utilized in his poems to bring the reader realistically closer to war and the severe occurrences he personally endured. In order to be fully aware of Owen 's powerful emotions and disturbing themes played within his poems it is essential to develop an understanding of his life experiences and personal history.
Wilfred Edward Salter Owen was born on 18th March 1893, in Oswestry where he was raised by both of his parents and later became the eldest of four brothers. In his spare time he picked up a hobby of reading and writing many verses of poetry. Nearly one year after war had been declared Owen decided to enlist in the army at the age of twenty-two where he encountered various forms of hardship. It was through this suffering that Owen was able to write unique poems about the pity of war with majority being written from August 1917 to September 1918. Shortly afterwards, seven days before the war ended and at the age of only twenty-five, Wilfred Owen became one of the 37 million casualties to die during World War I on 4th November 1918. His poems are commonly created through his personal encounters as a soldier and a patient at Craiglockhart War Hospital as he explores both the long-term mental and physical effects men fought due to the horrible exposure to war. These themes can be clearly seen in the poems “Mental Cases” and “The Sentry”.
The poem "Mental Cases" details the significant impacts the war played on the minds of war-torn men suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Owen 's use of rhetorica...


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..."snuffing", "thud", "flump", "thumping", "pummelled" and "crumps" all refer to the relentless bombardment of explosions and the harsh environment experienced at war. The repetitive reference to the weather in the lines “Rain, guttering down in waterfalls of slime Kept slush waist high, that rising hour by hour, Choked up the steps too thick with clay to climb.” show that nature is not on the author’s side. Figurative languages along with personification are techniques that Owen successfully utilises to reach out to the audience. The unpleasant sounds and sights the author provides in his poem such as “under the shrieking air” and “eyeballs, huge-bulged like squids” vividly convey the realness of being on the front line. These poetic devices and techniques further demonstrate Owen’s skills in making the readers understand the kind of hell he and his men went through.

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