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Dulce Et Decorum Est: Analysis

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Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen an Analysis

The Work: Dulce et Decorum Est is a poem written during World War I by soldier and poet, Wilfred Owen. The poem is known for Owen’s graphic and realistic depiction of the horrible trench warfare of WWI. Owens paints a verbal picture of the scene, speaking in first person, and describes what’s going on to him and his fellow troop members. Important to mention is what the poems title means, it is latin for “It is sweet and right to die for one's country”. The phrase was commonly used during the WWI era, and thus would have resonated with Owen's readers in that time period ( The poem starts out with Owen describing the troop of army men of which he is a member. He chronicles the men as been doubled over, “coughing like hags” as they “cursed through sludge”. He paints a grim picture of trench warfare that was so prevalent during WWI; describing the men trudging through the mud, saying “many had lost their boots but limped on”. In the next stanza comes utter panic as gas shells are dropped and hurled in troops direction. They rush to put on their helmets on and run to safety but by the end of the stanza Wilfred notices one of his comrades is in trouble, writing, “As under a green sea, I saw him drowning”. In the next two lines Owen uses powerful imagery talking about the helpless soldier. Saying, “In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.” He truly gives you a sense of the awful noises his comrade was making. The lines also display the obvious onset of pain the man was experiencing. In the succeeding stanza the poet and his fellow soldiers quickly load the man into a wagon, as Owen describes the life slowing leaving the helpless mans body. Again he vividly talks about the audible noises the soldier is making. The last and final quatrain Owen heeds an...

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