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Dulce Et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen

Essay by   •  May 29, 2017  •  Course Note  •  345 Words (2 Pages)  •  437 Views

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PEE Assessment

Throughout the poem of ‘Dulce et Decorum Est,’ by Wilfred Owen, there are many examples of poetic techniques which he has used for instance similes and adjectives, such as “His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin.”

By using similes, Wilfred Owen compares two different people in two different ways. He conveys to us, “Bent double, like old beggars under sacks.” Here he compares the soldiers who are tired and crippled, unable to stand up straight after the terrors and traumas of war, to old beggars. He later goes on to say “Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge.” This shows us they are ill up to their feet, they’re coughing like there is no tomorrow. Furthermore, this tells us soldiers are not in fit state to fight. We know that because they have bent backs when walking, they are coughing like old people and they feel like they are being cursed.

Wilfred’s language shows the absolute horrors soldiers went through via repetition. I know that because, I read, “Gas! Gas! QUICK, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling.” This shows us that the urge to put on their helmets was so immense it was a life or death situation which it was. The repetition of the word gas shows the dread of terror from the poisonous gas. Wilfred is using sarcastic language which is used many times throughout the poem. He mixes the superior language with absolute chaos making the reader, think between the lines.

Wilfred Owen uses a metaphor to tell the reader about the gas. We read, “As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.” This shows us that the gas was dense and spread so quickly and with fierce, it was like a green fog appeared before their eyes. The way he used a metaphor then he quickly followed it by a verb making the reader think of how the situation would actually feel. When saying I saw him drowning the sympathy which is created breaks hearts to read. A young innocent man chocked to death because of this daft war.

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