Analysing Willfred Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est.

1377 Words Jul 12th, 2018 6 Pages
Analysing Willfred Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est.

‘Dulce ET Decorum Est’ is an anti-war poem, which emphasizes the intensity of war. The meaning of the ironic title roughly translated into ‘it is good and honourable’ but is not fully established until you examine the poem. The full title ‘Dulce ET Decorum Est Pro Patria
Mori’ means ‘it is good and honourable to die for your country’.
However the main aspect of this poem is paradoxical to its title. This demonstrates the message Wilfred Owen’s is insinuating and his attitude towards war.

The poem is regarding Wilfred Owen and his troop of exhausted soldiers making their way back to base after combat at the front line until a gas shell is fired at them. A soldier is fatally
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When the protection of the soldiers’ lives had been compromised, it was every man for himself. The persistent dangers the troop were in never rested, like a sleepless monster permanently looming over them ready to strike at any time. The psychological image that appears is of a huge rush to do something so simple as to live on.

The form of the poem also manages to reflect Owens feelings of hatred and disgust at the war. There are three stanzas, three separate parts of the tale, all with their individual tones. The first uses the attitude of defeat,

“Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs.”

The second uses a hasty tone,

“Gas! GAS! Quick boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling.”

The third and final stanza is bitter,

“Of vile incurable sores on innocent tongues.”

This has the effect of taking the reader through different emotions the writer was feeling while writing the poem, a roller coaster ride of susceptibilities and resentfulness.

This poem has a regular rhyme scheme, which is highlighted in the next section,

“Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

And floundering like a man in fire or lime.”

The ABAB rhyme scheme sounds like marching or the steady tattoo of a drum beating, reminding us of the subject of the poem and the consistent hammering of the angry tone. The simplicity of it reminds me of a children’s poem or a nursery rhyme.

The pace of the poem
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