Is It Sweet And Proper To Die For The Fatherland Analysis

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Is It Sweet and Proper to Die for the Fatherland? In Wilfred Owen’s World War I poem, “Dulce Et Decorum Est,” he uses the line from Roman poet Horace, “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.” The phrase translates to “It is sweet and proper to die for the fatherland,” but Owen’s uses the phrase in opposition to the statement. Wilfred Owen served in World War I, which would cause him to lose his life, and this poem represents the sentiment he felt seeing his fellow soldiers dying by inhumane means like the newly employed caustic gases. The poem uses cacophonous sound devices, revolting similes, and an allusion to Horace in order to reject the notion that war is filled with honor and glory and to argue that it is completely dehumanizing and brutal. Owen describes the atrocious experience of war in the poem while using very harsh sounds to reinforce the reader’s view with disgust. The second line of the poem,…show more content…
The statement translates to “It is sweet and proper to die for the fatherland.” This poem revolves entirely around this specific statement, because it sums up what Owen calls “The old lie” (25). In the context of the poem, Owen argues that this phrase should not be told “to children ardent for some desperate glory” (26). This line is used to promote patriotism in a country’s children and inspire them to take up arms for their country because it will be glorious and fitting. Owen denies that notion, having seen the true horrors of war during his service, and eventually, dying in the war. Owen’s use of the allusion is powerful because it directly rejects a commonly accepted notion and argues that his country’s future generations should not follow it, or be misled into following it. This lie is what caused him to lose his life. Owen does not want others to fall for the lie and experience the horrors he describes in the
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