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dulce et decorum est non Essay

  • Submitted by: rustyshackleford
  • on December 8, 2008
  • Category: English
  • Length: 994 words

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Below is an essay on "dulce et decorum est non" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The First World War, with the continuing advent of broad-range communications, marked one of the first instances in which the civilian public was made aware of the atrocities and hardships of battle. It was especially defined as such with the overtly brutal nature of trench warfare and an a descent into chemical warfare. Amidst pro-war propaganda posters and a swelling sense of instilled national pride, there were instances of first-hand accounts from those that had traversed the front lines and seen the horrors the fields had held. In “Dulce Et Decorum Est”, Wilfred Owen uses shock-value, brutal imagery, and quipping sarcasm to denounce any glory in war and bring light to the suffering and dehumanization of soldiers to the general populace.
Owen's first foray in his anti-war niche is the contrast of the name of the poem and the body. The phrase “Dulce Et Decorum Est” translates from Latin to “Sweet and Fitting it is”, with the latter lines of the phrase included at the end of the poem being “to die for one's native land”. In his poem, Owen makes no reference to national pride or glory; merely suffering and fatigue that focuses on the individual, rather than some greater notion or ideal. The title of the poem is meant to be bitterly sarcastic, with the narration to be a direct contradiction of any “sweetness” in a soldier's death.
The poem, written in 28 lines of iambic pentameter, makes copious usage of simile, metaphor, imagery, and gratuitous detail. His first description of the soldiers on the march goes against any preconceived notions of proud warriors romping triumphantly over the battlefield. Rather, they are compared to lower classes of humanity. “Hags”, “old beggars”; both similes used to describe the posture, health, and apparent morale of the troops. It is meant to convey that, in war, the soldiers are used up to their fullest in a sense similar to slavery. They are forced to march and trudge until their minds are numb and their bodies take upon the...

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