"Dulce Et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen

Essay by ZenzoHigh School, 11th grade September 2006

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

Downloaded 25 times

Theme: Affliction and a soldier's experience of warfare.

"Dulce ET Decorum Est" is a war poem, so there is not a particular audience that the poet is addressing. All that Wilfred is trying to convey is how abysmal the conditions were during the war (First World War). This is reflected through the poet's use of vivid imagery and literal devices. The setting of this poem is on a very cold morning, during the First World War. At the time poem is taking place the soldiers were fighting in trenches. The poet makes us aware of how cold and difficult the conditions were inside the trenches by using the simile, "Coughing like hags"

The poem starts by telling you that the soldiers had a long and difficult walk back to their camp. The state in which these soldiers were in during the march is also wholly brought to light in the first stanza.

We get to know that they were very exhausted and worn out of energy. The poet makes this known to us by using the hyperbole 'Men marched asleep." Many had lost their boots but limped on ... blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots". This shows us the scary aspect of war.

The image of them marching slowly, bloody and 'drunk', evokes similar feelings of tiredness in the reader. These feelings are suddenly interrupted by, 'Gas! Gas! Quick boys!" in the second stanza. Here, the poet suddenly brings live an event of a gas attack. There is a sudden outcry for all the soldiers to take cover from the poisonous gas which is very likely could have been used as a weapon. This was a hard time, as they now had to run about in all directions, to...