Poetic Techniques of Wilfred Owen Essay

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Wilfred Owen can be considered as one of the finest war poets of all times. His war poems, a collection of works composed between January 1917, when he was first sent to the Western Front, and November 1918, when he was killed in action, use a variety of poetic techniques to allow the reader to empathise with his world, situation, emotions and thoughts. The sonnet form, para-rhymes, ironic titles, voice, and various imagery used by Owen grasp the prominent central idea of the complete futility of war as well as explore underlying themes such as the massive waste of young lives, the horrors of war, the hopelessness of war and the loss of religion. These can be seen in the three poems, ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ and…show more content…
Para-rhymes, in Owen’s poetry, generate a sense of incompleteness while creating a pessimistic, gloomy effect to give an impression of sombreness. Strong rhyming schemes are often interrupted unexpectedly with a para-rhyme to incorporate doubt to every aspect of this Great War. Who are the real villains and why are hundreds of thousands of lives being wasted in a war with no meaning? In ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, the consistent sonnet rhyming scheme is disturbed by a half rhyme, “guns … orisons”, to show how the soldiers all died alone with only the weapons that killed them by their side, and a visual rhyme, “all … pall” to indicate that the reality of war is entirely the opposite to what it seems - no glory, no joy and no heroism, but only death and destruction. Owen occasionally works with this technique in a reverse approach to create similar thought. For instance, the assonance, consonance and half rhyme based poem, ‘The Last Laugh’, contains an unforeseen full rhyme, “moaned … groaned”, to emphasise that nothing is ever fixed in war except the ghastly fact that the weapons are the true winners. Different forms of Para rhymes often work together with common schemes to ably bring out the main ideas of Owen’s poetry. The purpose of war is again in question through the ironic titles evidenced in most of Owen’s poems. In ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’, the sweet and fitting death is contrasted against the bitter and
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