Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

Decent Essays
The poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est” certainly describes a memorable and thought-provoking scene of World War I. The title of the poem translates to “It is sweet and meet to die for one’s country.” Throughout the rest of the work, Wilfred Owen indirectly addresses the claim made in the title. He accomplishes this by utilizing the power of the pen to produce startling imagery of the war time and experiences that may actually be personal for him. However, in the last few lines, he makes a more direct statement regarding the claims in the title. When he exclaims “My friend, you would not tell… / To children ardent for some desperate glory, / The old lie: Dulce et decorum est” (25-27) he is basically saying that after this experience, no one would tell children that they will achieve glory by dying for their country. The imagery used throughout the rest of the poem is working to support Owen’s claim that it is not, in fact, honorable to die for one’s country. He argues this claim by displaying what war was like for those who were actually there fighting in it. Owen begins with a graphic description of men during battle. He uses words such as “old” (1), “hags” (2), “fatigue” (7), and “deaf” to get across the image of men who are worn out, exhausted, and elderly. In the first two quatrains, the iambic pentameter also helps get the point across by putting emphasis on the words stated previously. While this is not the most potent image in the poem, its immediacy works to show the reader
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