Analysis of dulce et decorum est

Essay by shantanukHigh School, 11th gradeA, November 2004

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Based on the Poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owens

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. 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 imagery adds even more to his

argument. Through the effective use of all three of these tools, this

poem conveys a strong meaning and persuasive argument.

The poem's use of excellent diction helps to more clearly

define what the author is saying. Words like "guttering", "choking",

and "drowning" not only show how the man is suffering, but that he is

in terrible pain that no human being should endure.

Other words like

writhing and froth-corrupted say precisely how the man is being

tormented. Moreover, the phrase "blood shod" shows how the troops

have been on their feet for days, never resting. Also, the fact that

the gassed man was "flung" into the wagon reveals the urgency and

occupation with fighting. The only thing they can do is toss him into

a wagon. The fact one word can add to the meaning so much shows how

the diction of this poem adds greatly to its effectiveness.

Likewise, the use of figurative language in this poem also

helps to emphasize the points that are being made. As Perrine says,

people use metaphors because they say "...what we want to say more

vividly and forcefully..." Owen capitalizes greatly...