Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen

776 WordsFeb 22, 20183 Pages
“Anthem for Doomed Youth” is a poem written by Wilfred Owen who was a soldier that died in the Great War. Throughout his poem he effectively communicates the distress and terror he experienced during his time of service. By Owen using a sonnet layout he is using irony as he is talking about an anthem of war not an anthem of love. The use of a traditional sonnet provides an emphasis on the severity of the subject. The poem is structured in 14 lines which Owen has divided into two stanzas. Both stanzas begin with a rhetorical question with the first stanza ending at line eight. The rhyme and rhythm scheme for the first stanza is ABAB CDCD which appears to reinforce the nature of war. The rhyming scheme for the second stanza is EFFE GG. The lexical chain in the first stanza catalogues funeral and war and in the second stanza it only catalogues war. The first line of Owens poem opens in the form of a rhetorical question “what passing bells for these who die as cattle?” The use of this rhetorical question expresses Owen’s feeling of anger to the unnecessary deaths in war but also engages the reader and involves them personally. Owen’s use of “these” suggests that he is in fact present at the time. The passing bells relate to bells ringing at a funeral and the personification seems to question if the soldiers will be recognised as anything more than cattle once passed. This also outlines the severity of the images created to the reader. Through this, Owen gives a feeling of
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