Dulce Et Decorum Est By Wilfred Owen: Poem Analysis

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When someone mentions World War 1, thoughts of death, war, and annihilation may come to mind. One person who knew and was extremely familiar with these ideas and terms was Wilfred Owens, a poet who lived during the Great War. Owens fought in WW1, and he became thoroughly interested in war at an early age. During the early 20th century, propaganda posters and poems, such as Jessie Pope's 'Who's for the Game?' were published to persuade young men to join the army and fight against the enemies. No one knew what war was like until Owens published 'Dulce et Decorum Est'. In this piece of writing, Wilfred Owens uses imagery, phonological devices, and lexicon to convey that the glory of war is all a big lie.

To begin with, Wilfred Owens' use of
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Owens uses oxymorons throughout this poem to get the reader thinking and compelled. An example of this is in the first stanza when he writes, "Drunk with fatigue..." The sensation of drunkenness is exciting and carefree, although Owens contradicts this by saying the soldiers were drunk with fatigue. In addition, the author writes the oxymoron "ecstasy of fumbling" in the second stanza, which highlights the act of floundering for their helmets overwhelmed them. In addition, Wilfred Owens further describes the horrors of combat with the use of simile. One example of this is in the fourth stanza, when Owens writes, "like a devil's sick of sin". This shows that even the devil, who is perceived as the utmost evil being, is fed up with the greatest wrongdoing known as war. Next, one of the prominent uses of imagery in this poem is metaphor. There was one instance of this that stood out the most, which is in the first stanza, when Owens writes, "Many had lost their boots". Despite the fact…show more content…
To begin with, one of the most prominent lexes used in Dulce et Decorum Est is the lexis of water and drowning. Owens introduces this idea in the second and third stanzas. Examples of this are, "As under a green sea, I saw him drowning." and "He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning." The metaphor of being under a green sea comes from the thick green glass circles in the gas masks the narrator of the poem was wearing. If just those two lines were isolated from the rest of the poem, one might think that the soldier actually was drowning. However, the unforgiving mustard gas gives the same feeling of drowning and not being able to breathe. The effect on the reader is almost as if the reader now wants to help this man. Few people know what it is like to experience the consequences of mustard gas, so using the lexis of drowning gives the reader a deeper insight into what was happening to the soldier and in World War 1 as a whole. Another lexis that Wilfred Owens used was the lexis of haunting and ghosts. The reason Owens chose to relate his experiences to a haunting one is because when someone leaves the war, their experiences are stuck with them. No matter if it is in one's dreams or hallucinations, war is an unforgettable memory. When Owens writes, "His hanging face..." and "And watch the white eyes writhing in his face...", it
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