Language Techniques and Their Importance in "Dulce et Decorum Est" and "Anthem for Doomed Youth"

Essay by poisonous_acidB, February 2005

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Language techniques and their importance in

"Dulce et Decorum Est" and "Anthem for Doomed Youth"

In the poem "Dulce et Decorum Est", Wilfred Owen aims to illustrate the truth about the war. He wants to show people the difference between what happened in the trenches and the lie being told at home. He uses metaphors, comparisons, images and a sinister tone to express his feelings and to show the horror and tragedy those involved experienced.

Metaphors are used to illustrate more vividly the descriptions used in the poem: "old beggars under sacks" describes the soldiers that were deformed by the effort they had to make. This metaphor is important because it shows the effect the war experiences had on the young men.

He uses lots of comparisons like "his hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin" to compare the gas victim's face to the devil which seems corrupted and baneful.

The comparisons increase the effectiveness of the poem and illustrate the point more vividly because of the images.

The image at the beginning of the poem, "bent double, like old beggars" describes the soldiers which were barely upright as they struggled to walk. From the start this image makes me feel sorry for the soldiers for the effort they had to make to march. This feeling is amplified by another image "men marched asleep" which proves that they were more asleep than awake. In this condition the soldiers would have been barely able to defend themselves. Owen wants to prove that the soldiers were pushed to their limits. The image "an ecstasy of fumbling" means in frenzy or in a hurry. It makes me understand how scared and desperate they were, trying to find their masks even if they were so tired they could barely...