Figurative Language In Dulce Et Decorum Est

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The saying “Dulce et Decorum Est” means “It is sweet and right”. The final line of the poem is “Pro patria mori” which means “to die for one’s country”. Therefore the entire saying is, “it is sweet and right to die for to die for one’s country”. Wilfred Owen was an English poet who served in World War 1. During his time in the army, he was immersed in a lot of fighting. He was diagnosed with shellshock in 1917; shellshock is a term coined by soldiers. People affected by shellshock can show symptoms of fatigue, confusion, and nightmares. Shellshock was diagnosed when a soldier was unable to function. Owen was taken out of the war where he began writing poems. He wrote his poems to show both his anger at the cruelty and waste of war. (BBC) Owen used this poem to show the misconception that war is. While people outside of the war thought it was honorable, soldiers like Owen himself, know how cruel and it really is. Through the use of imagery, figurative language, and tone, Owen is able to portray the misconception and cruelty of war. One way that Owen is able to…show more content…
He uses similes to compare the horrifying events of war to different things in normal life. In the line “As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.”(14) Owen equates the chemical gas to an ocean. As mentioned earlier, the gas caused the lungs to fill up and drown the soldier. The simile compares the green gas to the sea to show that it too, could cause death by drowning. Also in the line “Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud.” Using this comparison, Owen is able to show how cruel the war was by comparing it to a life threatening disease such as cancer. Cud is grass chewed up by animals when feeding. Owen compares the war to something that is bitter and unpleasant, he does this to break the misconception that war is an honorable experience. Owen uses figurative language to convey the cruelty of
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