How Does Wilfred Owen Explore the Horror of War Through the Power of Poetry?

1110 WordsMar 9, 20135 Pages
Wilfred Owen, War Poems and Others How does Wilfred Owen explore the horror of war through the power of poetry? Throughout the several poems Wilfred Owen wrote throughout his experience during the First World War, he explores many themes in relation to the war and the emotions associated with these. One of the most prevalent ideas Wilfred Owen chooses to emphasise in many of his poems is that of the sense of horror associated with war and all the consequences of it such as those including death, disability, pain and gore and this emphasis can be clearly seen in 2 of Wilfred Owens most famous poems: Dulce Et Decorum Est and Mental Cases. First and foremost, the technique Wilfred Owen employs in nearly every poem he wrote to help convey…show more content…
Several examples of this include “Thus their heads wear this hilarious, hideous ...” where juxtaposition is also employed so as to further highlight the horror of the sight of the corpses being described, “Men marched asleep.” which couples the use of a hyperbole with the alliteration to inform the reader of the exhausted state of mind the soldiers are in and the phrase “Knock – kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, ...” which employs a simile to compares the physical condition of the soldiers to that of an old wrinkled witch. Aside from alliteration Owen, although to a slightly lesser extent, also utilizes many other poetic devices and these show up every so often throughout the poem including techniques such as repetition, personification, assonance, onomatopoeia, oxymoron and internal rhyming. All of which, serve to only further emphasise the emotions and themes pertaining to the horror of war. Some examples of these include “Batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles,” where the internal rhyme of the verbs ‘batter’ and ‘shatter’ help create an scene of intense action and violence, “Sunlight seems a bloodsmear; night comes blood – black;” which uses repetition of the word blood which is commonly associated with violence and death to further emphasise these themes and further accentuate the feeling of horror Owen is trying to associate with war and “ ...but what slow panic,” which employs oxymoron with the
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