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Wilfred Owen War Poems Essay

818 words - 4 pages

Wilfred Owen served and died in the First World War, at the battle of the Somme, one of the most horrific battles in recorded history, men were sent over the top slaughtered in their hundreds. During his time on the frontline Owen took sanctuary in writing poetry, it became a way for him to express what he was feeling in response to the chaotic horror that was occurring around him. The central concerns explored in Owen’s poetry are the realities of war, the physical and emotional impact on the soldiers and their loved one’s. Owen is quoted saying in his unpublished volume of poems: “This book is not about heroes..Nor is it about..glory, honour, might, majesty, domination or power.. My ...view middle of the document...

The central concerns in the poem being developed by the use of descriptive vocabulary, emotive adjectives and sensory emphasis on the battlefield, the place of horror and destruction. The tonal shift between the anger of the first stanzas octet to the sombre, bleak tone of the second stanzas sestet creates emphasis on the differences of home and the battlefield.

‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ is Owen’s second poem I will be discussing. The title ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ comes from a Latin saying that was often quoted at the beginning of world war one. The title when juxtaposed with the poem’s central concerns of the false way in which the government portrays war and the mental and physical effects the war leaves on soldiers creates bitter sarcasm. The irony used in ‘the old lie; dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’ reinforces and develops Owen’s concerns towards the government misrepresenting war, was is everything but sweet and honourable. The poem is written in three main stages, before the gas attack, during and after the attack, with all four stanzas irregular in length. The couplet in the third stanza stands out and describes the nightmarish scene in which haunts the surviving soldiers as they sleep, developing the central concerns of the...

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