Dulce Et Decorum Est

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The poem, “Dulce Et Decroum Est” is a powerful anti-war poem set in World War 1 that uses dramatic imagery, diction, a unique type of rhyme and rhythm, and symbolism in the structure to show how harsh war is and not the glamor it is made out to be. To understand the poem we must first understand the title. “Dulce et Decorum Est” is a Latin title that is taken from the Roman poet Horace and means "it is sweet and honorable...” followed by pro patria mori, which means "to die for one 's country”. Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est” is one of the most famous poems from the “soldier-poets” who fought in the World War 1In 1917, Owen was diagnosed with “shell shock”, commonly known as post-traumatic stress disorder, and was granted a reprieve from the …show more content…

Owen’s stay at the hospital was a giant step in his poetic development. In December of 1917, he boasted to his mother that, “I go out of this year a Poet…as which I did not enter it. I am held peer by the Georgians; I am a poet’s poet.”(CITE) Owen would not live to see another New Year’s Eve; he died in combat on November 4, 1918, at the age of 25. It is said that a letter Owen sent to his mother in February 1917 while fighting in World War I provided inspiration for the poem. Attention is given to how the letter, known as letter No. 486, describes the wounded soldiers and how similar the imagery of it is in the poem as well as the letter. The description of the wounded troops in his letter: “Sometimes the feet were covered with a brown, scaly, crust—dried blood,” with lines from his poem being very parallel: “Many had lost their boots/But limped on, blood-shod” (Lines 5–6). Both describe exhausted soldiers struggling back from the front. Both specifically document the absence of boots and the physical difficulties of walking. Both occur at night (note the poem’s references to “haunting flares,” “asleep,” “drunk with fatigue”). Both reflect the narrator’s identification with the troops (“we” in the letter; “we”/ “our” in the …show more content…

“They loom large in a soldier 's life, even larger when at dawn he must climb from the trench and charge across no-man 's-land, dodge shell craters (or hide in them), find a way through the tangles of barbed wire the opening artillery barrage almost invariably failed to cut, and hope against hope that the machine gun bullets whizzing past his ears do not find him. These attacks seldom succeeded. If he did make it back to his own trenches alive, no comfort awaited him. He would be treated throughout the night to the screams and whimpers of wounded men in pain, bleeding to death in Rosenberg 's "sleeping green between.” This is what the poets gave voice to, this particular brand of misery, these endless horrors.”

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