Dulce et decorum est By Wilfred Owen The language used in the poems depicting the gas attack is strong, representing both the anguish of the victims of the gas attack as well as the effect on those haunted by what they have seen: ‘watch the white eyes writhing in his face, / His hanging face’. The repetition of the word ‘face’ makes it clear which element disturbs the speaker most: the transformation in the face of the victim. The use of alliteration on the ‘w’ sound reflects the agonised twisting of the gas victim.
It is set in a war field where Wilfred Owen fought, here he witnessed an event that would stay with him for the rest of his life, and this is why he wrote a poem on it. Notes on Dulce et Decorum Est. DULCE ET DECORUM EST – the first words of a Latin saying (taken from an ode by Horace). The words were widely understood and often quoted at the start of the First World War. They mean “It is sweet and right. ” The full saying ends the poem: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori – it is sweet and right to die for your country.
In other words, it is a wonderful and great honour to fight and die for your country. Five-Nine – 5. 9 calibre explosive shells, Lime – a white chalky substance which can burn live tissue, Guttering – Owen probably meant flickering out like a candle or gurgling like water draining down a gutter, referring to the sounds in the throat of the choking man, or it might be a sound partly like stuttering and partly like gurgling, Cud – normally the regurgitated grass that cows chew usually green and bubbling.
Here a similar looking material was issuing from the soldier’s mouth, High zest – idealistic enthusiasm, keenly believing in the rightness of the idea The Soldier It is often contrasted with Wilfred Owens’s 1917 antiwar poem Dulce Et Decorum Est This poem is about dying in battle for your country. While Rupert Brooke never actually fought in battle, as he died getting there, he is still able to write what he imagines war to be like. As he never knew the horrors of war he could not write about the horrible side of it.
Instead he painted an idealistic image, one that he truly believed in, which was then used as propaganda. It glorifies the heroism of the English soldiers who fought in WWI. This poem is pointing out that war is not always started for the reasons that your government tells you; there is a larger picture to consider. It is often read at the memorial services of soldiers. In WWI, soldiers were not always able to bring back the bodies of their dead comrades. In France, dead soldiers were buried in the national cemetery, if their remains were found.
However, there is a huge field dedicated to the unknown soldiers. As far as you can see there are only white crosses with names on them, but the names on the crosses don’t necessarily match up with the bodies that are underneath them. “If I should die… forever England” (lines 1-3). He is saying that if he dies in battle he will forever remain in that foreign field and since his dead body is there, it is like that part of the field belongs to England, because he belongs to England.
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