Dulce Et Decorum Est - Critical Response Essay

1159 Words Oct 2nd, 1999 5 Pages
A poem which I have recently read is: "Dulce Et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen. The main point Wilfred Owen tries to convey in this poem is the sheer horror of war. Owen uses many techniques to show his feelings, some of which I'll be exploring.
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<br>Wilfred Owen is a tired soldier on the front line during World War I. In the first stanza of Dulce Et Decorum Est he describes the men and the condition they are in and through his language shows that the soldiers deplore the conditions. Owen then moves on to tell us how even in their weak human state the soldiers march on, until the enemy fire gas shells at them. This sudden situation causes the soldiers to hurriedly put their gas masks on, but one soldier did not put it on in time. Owen
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The term: "Ecstasy" would normally suggest a time of extreme emotion, normally joy, however in this situation it is used as a term of irony as this is a completely bewildering time for the men (another extreme emotion).
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<br>Owen uses simile to explain better the situation faced by the men. Simile is often used by poets and is used mainly for description in Dulce Et Decorum Est. The poet provides us with these similes as he has simplified them to a state in which we would understand them. An example of this would be: "flound'ring like a man in fire or lime…" this example makes us aware of the movement which this soldier would use during the gas attack "flound'ring". Another implication this simile has is that the soldier would not be in control of the situation as if a man was on fire he would not be able to put it out simply and this would be similar with the soldier used in the example as this would be an unusually helpless situation for him to be in. Owen does not use simile as much as the previous kinds of imagery.
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<br>There are several image groups used in this poem, two of which I will be reviewing. The first image group is "Sleep or Dreams". Owen often refers to many subconscious states like the afore mentioned one, the reason why he uses these references so frequently is that war is made apparent to the

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