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Wilfred Owen Dulce Et Decorum Est Essays

All three war poems actually describe war with a sense of irony. One thing to keep in mind as you read and analyze these poems is that, prior to World War I, war was thought to be glorious. The Ancient Greeks and Romans saw war as a chance to prove their bravery and to die bravely for the sake of a noble cause, as seen in ancient texts like Homer's Iliad. Individuals continued this line of thinking and similar lines of thinking right up to World War I. As Ammon Shepherd phrases it, the countries of "England, France, and Germany saw war as a glorious engagement. The prevailing thought by those who joined the military [at the start of WWI] was that they would be home by Christmas" ("Europe and World War I"). Shepherd further indicates that young men saw war as an opportunity to do something new, different, and challenging, simply because they were bored with their own lives: "Young men were bored with the good qualities of life so were eager to prove themselves and their new sense of national identity" ("Europe and World War I"). However, advances in war technology--"machine guns, tanks, large guns, airplanes"--made World War I unexpectedly devastating. So, suddenly, no one could continue seeing war as glorious but as rather a devastating, life-taking tragedy. Hence, all three poems were written to express the tragic irony of at first seeing war as glorious but now being forced to face the truth--war isn't glorious at all. All three poems use both imagery and diction to express the ironic contrast between thinking war is glorious and war's true reality.

In "Dulce Et Docurm Est," Wilfred Owen paints vivid imagery to show the devastation of WW I such as the image of the troops "march[ing] asleep" and the verbal warning of poisonous gas having been fired at the troops. His vivid imagery about the death and agonies of war stands in sharp contrast with the diction choices of the famous Latin saying Owen uses at the end of his poem, "Dolce et Decorum est Pro patria mori," which translates to, "It is sweet and right to die for your country" ("Dolce et Decorum Est," footnote #1). All in all, Owen is saying that if one knew how horrible war was, one wouldn't dare tell children the "old Lie" that it is glorious to die in war for the sake of your country. In doing so, he clearly expresses the irony behind the old belief that war was glorious and contrasts it against the clear reality that war is horrible.

The same irony expressed through imagery and diction can be seen in Wislawa Szymborska's poem "The End and the Beginning" as well though a bit more subtly. Szymborska uses distinct and imagery to paint the remains of a war-torn city after the war has ended, such as the phrases "push the rubble," "corpse-filled wagons," and "get mired." In the fourth stanza, we see Szymborska's first use of both diction and imagery to express irony. He uses the diction choice of "photogenic" and the image that "all the cameras have left" to show mankind's old belief that war is glorious. The cameras were at the war documenting the battle as if it was something to be remembered for all time when in reality, it's not. Hence, just like Owen, Szymborska is also showing the irony in thebelief that war is glorious and the contrast between the belief and the reality of war.

Steven Crane also uses his final four lines to show that same ironic contrast:

Mother whose heart hung humble as a button
On the bright splendid shroud of your son,
Do not weep.
War is kind.

However, unlike the previous two poets, Crane fills his poem with imagery to paint war's glory, such as "Hoarse, booming drums of the regiment" and then ends with the sorrowful image of a mother mourning the death of her son and the satirical refrain, "War is kind," to paint the ironic contrast between beliefs about war and actuality.

Hence, if we were to write a thesis arguing the above, the following would be one possibility:

  • Poets Owen, Symborska, and Crane all use imagery and diction to show the ironic contrast between the old, commonly held belief that war is glorious and war's bitter, harsh reality.

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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Vivid Imagery

    850 words

    The Futility of Dying for a State through Poetic Devices: "Dulce et Decorum Est" and "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum Est" (1920) uses vivid imagery primarily to remove any romantic or patriotic idea that it is sweet to die for one's country. Randall Jarrell's "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" uses ambiguity to compare the death for the state to an abortion. Each poem presents the death of a man for his country, though with contrasting poetic devises. Th...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est

    1,397 words

    Through vivid imagery and compelling metaphors Dulce et Decorum Est gives the reader the exact feeling the author wanted. The poem is an anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen and makes great use of these devices. This poem is very effective because of its excellent manipulation of the mechanical and emotional parts of poetry. Owen's use of exact diction and vivid figurative language emphasizes his point, showing that war is terrible and devastating. Furthermore, the utilization of extremely graphic imag...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Wilfred Owen

    1,033 words

    The two poems Suicide in the Trenches and Dulce Et Decorum Est show resentment toward the war. The reason for this is because both poets Sigfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen had first hand experience in the war unlike their contemporaries Stephen Crane and Rupert Brooke who glorified war and the theme of patriotism. Since Cranes and Brookes poems glorified war and encouraged young men to enroll in the army they would be popular in the war period and so were published before Sassoon's and Owen's wor...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Wilfred Owen

    649 words

    Analysis of two war poems By Thomas McGregor 6 E I am going to compare the two poems Dulce et decorum est by Wilfred Owen and Channel Firing by Thomas Hardy. The poem by Hardy talks about the great German guns Big Bertha's which fired across the channel at the nearest coastal villages, and how the noise of these guns is so terrific that it wakes the dead in their graves. Dulce et decorum est is a poem about a group of tired, worn out soldiers who are making their way back from the front line. Th...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Wilfred Owen

    998 words

    All Wilfred Owen poems seem to rhyme. The ends of the alternate lines rhyme in most all of his poems for example in The send off The 1 st line ends in way and the 3 rd in gay. This is repeated with other rhyming words all through the poem. On the 7 th and 9 th lines the rhyme is tramp and camp. In Ducle et decorum est we can see the same format of rhyming. The end of each alternate line rhymes i. e. the ends of the 1 st and 3 rd lines in this case sacks and backs, and the end of the 9 th and 10 ...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Second And Third

    1,934 words

    ... and the blood that comes gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, The final section of the stanza refers to the younger generation whose fathers and grandfathers had fought in the war. When these children ask for some old war stories then they must not be glorified thus hiding the true horror of war, purely to satisfy their need for some desperate glory. They must be told with truth and the understanding that there can be no glory in war, only immeasurable pain and loss. The three poems ment...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Critical Response

    1,127 words

    A poem which I have recently read is: Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen. The main point Wilfred Owen tries to convey in this poem is the sheer horror of war. Owen uses many techniques to show his feelings, some of which Ill be exploring. Wilfred Owen is a tired soldier on the front line during World War I. In the first stanza of Dulce Et Decorum Est he describes the men and the condition they are in and through his language shows that the soldiers deplore the conditions. Owen then moves on to...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Anti War Poem

    715 words

    Based on the Poem Dulce et Decorum Est The poem is one of the most powerful ways to convey an idea or opinion. Through vivid imagery and compelling metaphors, the poem gives the reader the exact feeling the author wanted. The poem Dulce et Decorum Est, an anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen, makes great use of these devices. This poem is very effective because of its excellent manipulation of the mechanical and emotional parts of poetry. Owens use of exact diction and vivid figurative language emphasi...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Thomas R

    758 words

    Dulce et Decorum Est: An Emotional Appeal War brings with it countless tragedies. Many of these tragedies only a veteran could fully understand. All too often the ugliness of war is glorified, and even worse, glamorized. In the poem Dulce et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen, the glorification of war is sarcastically refuted. Owens anger is eminent, as he graphically describes war in terms only a veteran or embattled soldier could comprehend. Dulce et Decorum Est, means It is sweet and becoming to di...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Wilfred Owen

    519 words

    ? Dulce Et Decorum Est? By Wilfred Owen, ? Dulce Et Decorum Est? By Wilfred Owen, And? The Charge Of The Light Brigade? By Lord Alfred Tennyson Since before man could begin to remember, war has been an omnipresent course of action as conflict has been, and still is, wide spread throughout the world. War is seen by some as a grim evil, while others perceive it to be a brave and glorious feat. These conflicting views have been the themes behind many works of literature, especially many works of po...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Wilfred Owen

    907 words

    It is sweet and meet to die for ones country, better known as? Dulce et Decorum Est? is a great poem written by war poet Wilfred Owen. It involves a tragic war situation. It is easily understood. The poem also has a very unique sound to it. Wilfred Owen was born on March 18 th in 1893. He was the eldest of four children born in Oswestry. He was brought up in the Anglican religion of the Evangelical school. An evangelical man is saved not by the good he does but by faith he has in redeeming power...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Figurative Language

    614 words

    Explication of? Dulce et Decorum Est? In his poem exhibiting the gruesome imagery of World War I, ? Dulce et Decorum Est? , Wilfred Owen conveys his strongly anti-war sentiments to the reader. Through the irony found in the ending, horrific imagery, and the feeling of surrealism woven into the poem, Owen forces the reader to experience the war, and therefore feel almost as decisively about it as he does. Owen applies the rhetorical situation, sensory imagery, and figurative language to contribut...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Dead Bodies

    854 words

    Dulce Et Decorum Est This poem describes war and its effects on the poet himself. ? Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori? actually means? How sweet and pure it is to die for one? s country? . Owen in this poem describes how this is not at all true and that it is in no way patriotic to die for your home land. In fact he describes this as? The old Lie? . This is a very graphic, realistic and emotional account of the War. In the first verse there is a description of the soldiers? shell-shocked stat...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Iambic Pentameter

    1,781 words

    History has taught us that no other war challenged existing conventions, morals, and ideals in the same way World War I did. World War I saw the mechanization of weapons (heavy artillery, tanks), the use of poison gas, the long stalemate on the Western Front, and trench warfare, all of which resulted in the massive loss of human life. We must remember not only that the battle casualties of World War I were many times greater than those of World War II, wiping out virtually a whole generation of ...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Anti War Poem

    1,421 words

    Dulce et Decorum Est Through vivid imagery and compelling metaphors " Dulce et Decorum Est" gives the reader the exact feeling the author wanted. The poem is an anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen and makes great use of these devices. This poem is very effective because of its excellent manipulation of the mechanical and emotional parts of poetry. Owens use of exact diction and vivid figurative language emphasizes his point, showing that war is terrible and devastating. Furthermore, the util...
    Free research essays on topics related to: dulce et decorum est, anti war poem, owen , froth corrupted, wilfred owen
  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Froth Corrupted

    1,653 words

    Dulce et Decorum Est is one of the most powerful poems ever expressed. The tone of voice and imagery created in your mind, the tension you feel when you read through it, they all make you feel as if you are actually in the poem. The tone of the poem seems to be very antagonistic and bitter. Knock kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge. Is an example of aggressive tone and bitterness. It gives you an idea about the soldiers going barmy on the mud they have to trudge through. Irritate...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Anti War Poem

    1,418 words

    David Ibbitson EN 102, section 45 Professor Piotrowicz April 12, 2000 Dulce et Decorum Est Through vivid imagery and compelling metaphors? Dulce et Decorum Est? gives the reader the exact feeling the author wanted. The poem is an anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen and makes great use of these devices. This poem is very effective because of its excellent manipulation of the mechanical and emotional parts of poetry. Owens use of exact diction and vivid figurative language emphasizes his point, showing ...
    Free research essays on topics related to: froth corrupted, anti war poem, wilfred owen, dulce et decorum est, owen
  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Anti War Poem

    1,413 words

    Through vivid imagery and compelling metaphors? Dulce et Decorum Est? gives the reader the exact feeling the author wanted. The poem is an anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen and makes great use of these devices. This poem is very effective because of its excellent manipulation of the mechanical and emotional parts of poetry. Owens use of exact diction and vivid figurative language emphasizes his point, showing that war is terrible and devastating. Furthermore, the utilization of extremely graphic ima...
    Free research essays on topics related to: dulce et decorum est, anti war poem, owen , froth corrupted, wilfred owen
  • Dulce Et Decorum Est First World War

    3,375 words

    The attitudes of poets towards war have always been expressed vigorously in their poetry, each poet either condoning or condemning war, and justifying their attitudes in whatever way possible. I aim to explore the change in the portrayal of war before and during the twentieth century, and also the structures and devices poets use to convey their views persuasively, and justify them. These two poems describe war, and scenes from war, with varying levels of intensity and reality and also from diff...
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  • Dulce Et Decorum Est Dulce Et Decorum Poem

    345 words

    Compare And Costrast Little Libby And Dulce Compare And Costrast Little Libby And Dulce Et Decorum Est Compare and Costrast Little Libby and Dulce Et Decorum Est Dulce Et Decorum Est is a poem written by Wilfred Owen during WWI. I believe this poem is excellent because it doesnt only have good imagery, but the language is also very good. Owen uses very harsh words to describe the brutality of war in a place where war was believed to be a heroic act. He says that they were Bent double, like old b...
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