Analysis Of Dulce Et Decorum Est

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The poem Dulce et Decorum est written by Wilfred Owen refers to the horrors of world war one which Owen experienced first hand. He wrote this poem whilst recovering from shellshock in the Craiglockhart hospital. The poem distinctly describes a young soldier suffering during a brutal gas attack. A key idea in the poem is that Owen wanted to show the true realities of war and how brutal, inhumane and exhausting it was for the poor men who fought in it. He also wanted to criticise those who would glorify war and who would encourage the senseless slaughter. These two key ideas were reinforced with three language features, similes, onomatopoeia and negative connotative language.

Owen used many similes throughout his poem, one in which was used
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‘Obscene as cancer’, the word ‘cancer’ connects to readers on a personal level with cancer killing around 7.9 million people each year. This deadly disease therefore can create many tragic outcomes, which the public deems to be horrific so by Owen placing this term in the poem makes the level of brutality more relatable and understandable. Which in turn helps Owen get his two key ideas across. A second example ‘his hanging face like a devils sick of sin’ the word ‘devil’ is a phrase, which is feared by most people and relates to something evil and nasty. In turn this also makes the public understand that there is nothing glorious about war in any way. It is exhausting, inhumane and brutal and therefore anyone who glorifies war should be criticised.

In conclusion the poem Dulce et Decorum est written by Wilfred Owen is about the harsh brutalities of war, which should never be encouraged to be deemed as a great and glorious act by anyone. Which is what Owen was trying to get across to the public, which was reinforced through three language features, similes, onomatopoeia and negative connotative language. Even after 100 years, we can’t help but feel the pain and suffering for these brave men, who risked their lives for the love of others and their
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