Literary Analysis Of Wilfred Owen And The Glory Of War

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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…show more content…
First, rhyme is a simple, yet effective way to add rhythm to a poem or writing piece, and Wilfred Owens used this device in an important way.The pattern of rhyme that Owens used was an end of line rhyme scheme that followed an alternate rhyming pattern. An example of this is in the first line, the last word was 'sacks', and in the third line the last word was 'backs'. This has the reader realize that war is unpredictable. In the poem, the stanzas are all choppy and different lengths, so you can never get a solid conclusion of why the poem was split up that way. The end of line rhyme scheme ties the words together and emphasizes the way the stanzas are split up. The choppiness of the poem gives off the idea that war is inconstant, but the rhyme pattern bonds it together, much like soldiers bond and help each other to build each other up. Another phonological device that Wilfred Owens uses to convey his main message is alliteration. The point of alliteration is to emphasize a point by repeating the same letter or sound at the start of words. Owens uses this in the first stanza, when he writes "Knock-kneed". Owens wanted to emphasize and get the reader to visualize what the soldiers looked like and felt during the war by repeating the hard sound 'kn'. To add on to this, the poet accents certain sounds in words. In the first stanza, the author uses the…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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