Dulce Et Decorum Est Analysis Essay

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Wilfred Owen’s poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” is a thought provoking poem that highlights the horrific experiences of soldiers in the trenches during World War I. Owen uses graphic, disturbing imagery and language to reveal the realities of war and also a powerful message: Dying for one’s country isn’t as sweet, honorable, or fitting as it is made out to be. In the opening lines of the poem, Owen describes the soldiers to be, “bent double, like old beggars under sacks” (661). This simile shows how filthy, weak, and unhealthy the soldiers appear to be. By comparing the soldiers to old beggars, Owen highlights how the soldiers came into the war as young, energetic men, but now appear to have prematurely aged due to the hardships that they have faced. Owen makes it clear what type of impact the war can have on young men through the use of this imagery. Not only do these soldiers deal with physical challenges, but mental ones as well. They are described as being, “drunk with fatigue” (Owen 661). The use of this metaphor conveys the mental exhaustion that the soldiers face, while also suggesting the hardships and suffering that they have endured. This metaphor is also notable because it compares the exhaustion the soldiers have endured with the effects of alcohol…show more content…
He says, “My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old lie: Dulce et decorum est” (662). These lines emphasize Owen’s anger toward the people who call these young men to action to serve their country without serving in the war themselves. Owen implies that if these men saw the atrocities of war firsthand that they would not be preaching that dying for one’s country is a glorious honor. Through describing the hardships of war, Owen has shown why dying for one’s country isn’t an honor, but a lie, and this is how he makes his
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