Poetry Review on "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen.

Essay by alextwo November 2003

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Dulce et Decorum est

I have chosen to review the poem "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen. The poem is about the horrors of World War One that the soldiers would have to live though during the war. "Dulce et Decorum est" follows the group of soldiers that the narrator fought and lived with during the war. The First World War started in 1914 and within the first few months many people from both sides died. On the first day of the Somme alone sixty thousand people died. Fortunately the war ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. I enjoyed reading this poem as it showed the real side of the war. This poem gave excellent descriptions of the reality and the horror of the war, rather than glamorising and praising the heroic side of the war.

In stanza one it starts with the narrator in the trenches with his fellow soldiers who are described as "Bent double like old beggars under sacks".

This gives you a good image of a group of soldiers who are tired and want to leave and go home. Owen uses vivid verbs such as "sludge" to show the slow lethargic movements of the tired soldiers. By saying that the men's feet were "blood shod" would mean that their feet would have to be covered in a thick layer blood that would look like a shoe of blood. Wilfred Own uses a metaphor and says "drunk with fatigue" reinforcing the image of tired and slow soldiers. The first stanza is a slow depressing stanza that gives you a good image of the soldier's fatigue.

The second stanza begins with a contrast in pace starting with shouts

"Gas! Gas! Quick boys!" The second stanza shows the quick...